Scottish gold miner hails better than expected progress

Scotgold Resources, the company behind a gold mine near Tyndrum, has boosted its stockpile of ore for processing after a strong month of activity in June.

Miners saw a month of uninterrupted activity at the Cononish site near Tyndrum.
Miners saw a month of uninterrupted activity at the Cononish site near Tyndrum.

The company said it had reached high-grade ore zones far more quickly than it had expected at the Cononish project during a month of uninterrupted mining activity.

In an update to investors, the company said it had accessed ore at levels that peaked at 40 grammes per tonne in a zone where it now plans to continue mining for two months.

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It said the achievement was thanks to its “strategy of combining consistency and stability of the mine and process plant operations, while opening multiple faces of ore in the underground mine itself”.

The volume of ore on its stockpile has increased although a bearing failure in the process plant held back efforts to make significant inroads towards achieving full ramp up.

“The issue is expected to be resolved in the coming days but serves to demonstrate the types of ‘one off issues’ that can impact production which are being targeted by the risk analysis approach being implemented by the company at Cononish,” it said.

The company said it had managed to minimise unplanned downtime arising from the bearing failure.

The extra ore stockpiled as a result of mining activity is expected to be processed by the plant in due course with the aim of making its second shipment in the first half of July.

“Gold ore sent to the refiners in May was able to be refined through normal treatment processes, providing validation of Scotgold's process plant production,” it said.

The company also said it now plans to update investors on progress at the mine on a monthly basis when it hopes to report a ramp-up in production.

In February the group announced mining veteran Phillip Day was taking over from Richard Gray as chief executive.

The boardroom shake-up came as the company announced that although progress has been made on resolving recent technical issues at the Cononish site, a planned ramp-up in production had been delayed which meant it was lowering its guidance on gold output.

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