A protracted venture to produce Scottish gold could come to fruition “imminently” under proposals for a bulk processing trial to begin in May.
Aim-quoted Scotgold Resources, owner of the Cononish mine beneath Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, has asked for planning permission to crush 2,400 tonnes of ore which it has already extracted at a portable pilot plant to be installed on-site.
The Australian-based company hopes the results will “reduce the perceived technical risk of the project”, which has encountered funding problems throughout much of its history dating back to 2007.
The firm said early discussions indicate that gold produced from the trial could be sold “at a significant premium” because of its rare origins. Cononish is Scotland’s only commercial gold mine.
Chief executive Richard Gray said: “This is the most tangible and exciting development undertaken by the company since its incorporation.
“In addition to anticipated positive technical results, the trial will produce an historic ‘first pour’ gold output, sufficient to determine whether there are grounds to review the mine development plan and moreover to establish Cononish as a low-cost, low-risk, near-term production gold project.”