Gold miner halts Portugal project plans to focus on Scotland

Scotgold Resources, the company developing a gold mine near Tyndrum, is abandoning its plans for a project in Portugal to focus its efforts on Scotland.

Richard Gray, chief executive of Scotgold. Picture: John Devlin.

The company, which is hoping to start production from its Cononish initiative later this year, said it has applied to Portuguese authorities to terminate its exploration licence at Pomar in central Portugal.

Scotgold said that although it continues to believe in the potential of the licence, exploration work to date suggests “significant” further investment would be required.

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Richard Gray, chief executive of Scotgold, said it had been a difficult decision for the company to take. “Our belief in the potential of this licence and our positive experiences in Portugal made this a hard decision,” he said.

“Our critical focus at this time, however, has to be the development of the Cononish project and securing positive cashflow in 2020.

“This will enable us to accelerate our exploration activities in Scotland and ultimately reconsider other opportunities in similar low political risk jurisdictions.”

In February, the company said it was on schedule to achieve first gold production from Cononish by the end of 2019.

Scottish Enterprise has offered to provide funding of up to £430,000 to support the development of the mine, dependent on job creation at the site.

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