Scottish business wire: Scotgold | BT | Farming

Catch up with the main breaking business stories of the day.

Scotgold Resources chief Richard Gray at the firm's Cononish mine near Tyndrum. Picture: John Devlin

The firm behind Scotland’s first commercial gold mine has agreed to sell up to 120 tonnes of mineral containing the precious metal. Scotgold Resources, which is developing its £24 million Cononish mine in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, said the first shipment of “gold-rich pyrite” will set sail to metals trader Ocean Partner’s premises in the Netherlands “as soon as the appropriate logistics have been put in place”. In a separate development, the Aim-quoted firm has been working with testing specialist SGS and minerals analyst Wheal Jane Laboratory on the extraction of gold and silver from galena concentrate that has also been generated by its processing trial.

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BT must formally separate from its Openreach network division after failing to address competition concerns, the telecoms watchdog has announced. Ofcom said it was “disappointed” with BT’s proposals since it outlined plans in July to make Openreach a “distinct company” within the group. BT said: “We will continue to work with Ofcom to reach a voluntary settlement that is good for customers, shareholders, employees, pensioners and investment in the UK’s digital future”.

The direct additional costs of last year’s botched farm support payment system – in the form of overtime and additional staffing – could be well over £1 million, it has been revealed. In a letter to a parliamentary committee, rural economy cabinet secretary Fergus Ewing said that overtime costs across the rural payments and inspections division area office staff in the financial year 2015-16 totalled just under £348,000. North East MSP Mike Rumbles said: “This £1m would have been better spent supporting our farming sector.”

“The worst may be past in the battering taken by the oil and gas industry over the past two years,” writes Martin Flanagan. “But it is a chastened, more emaciated industry than it was. More than two-thirds of oil and gas businesses have cut jobs this year, with more unemployment expected in 2017.”