Scotgold CEO to step down as production ramp-up delayed

The boss of miner Scotgold Resources is stepping down after six years at the helm of the company which reported it is looking at funding options after a delay to ramping-up of production at its Scottish site.

Richard Gray has overseen the development of the Cononish mine, which produced its first gold in 2020, for more than six years. Picture: John Devlin

Richard Gray will retire from his role at the end of March and will be replaced by mining veteran Phillip Day. Chris Sangster, Scotgold’s founding CEO, has also announced his resignation as a non-executive director to pursue other business interests.

The boardroom shake-up came as the company announced that although progress has been made on resolving recent technical issues at the Cononish site near Tyndrum, it expects a planned ramp-up in production will not happen before the end of March which means it has lowered guidance on gold output.

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It said the delay has had a negative impact on the company’s cash position and it was investigating possible short-term debt financing options including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Scotgold said the directors are confident funds will be available if required.

Day’s last position in the industry was as head of technical and operations at mining investment firm Pala and he has also previously served as vice president of process engineering at AMEC Americas.

Scotgold’s chairman Nat Le Roux said Day’s global experience “will prove invaluable as Scotgold not only executes a phased expansion strategy at Cononish, but also advances our highly prospective Grampian Project with a view to developing further new mines”.

He also paid tribute to Gray’s work in transforming the company from explorer to developer and now to a production company, following first gold pour in November. Gray will remain on the board as a non-executive director.

Scotgold said that as well as technical issues with crushing equipment at the site, Covid-19 restrictions had led to a slower than anticipated build-up of workers at the site and delayed training.

As a result, it is now expecting to treat 1,000 tonnes of ore in March, reaching design capacity of 3,000 tonnes per month in April. The company has lowered its annual production guidance to up to 7,900 ounces of gold from up to 8,700 ounces previously.

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