Scotland closer to having its first commercial gold mine

Scotland is one step closer to having its first commercial gold and silver mine as Scotgold Resources (LON: SGZ) said Thursday it had submitted the last application to secure planning permits for its Cononish project, near Tyndrum.

The company, which has decided to liquidate its French subsidiary, said that it had worked with the Trossachs National Park Planning Authority (NPA) to secure all the necessary licences required for planning approval, adding it expects a formal decision soon.

Scotgold is anticipating a number of conditions, but said that it had made the necessary preparations to deal with them “as promptly as possible”.

The company envisions an underground mine with an initial production capacity of 23,500 ounces of gold annually for up to 17 years.

Cononish produced first gold in August 2016 following the launch of an ore processing trial and the plan is now to build a large-scale operation.

Scotgold Resources will do so by reopening an old mine shaft and moving 170,000 tonnes of rock, along with the mineral ore.

The company envisions an underground mine with an initial production capacity of 23,500 ounces of gold annually for up to 17 years.

As many as 52 jobs could be created during production, and the firm has offered nearly £500,000 (about $695K) in payments to support the local community of Tyndrum.

In addition, the company said Scottish Enterprise offered a Regional Selective Assistance grant of £430,000 for the development of the project. Scotgold estimates costs from the first phase of development to total £360,000. However, it noted that extra funds will not have a material impact on the returns.

Once final approval is granted, Scotgold will proceed with the financing for the development, though obtaining the approval of the Park Authority is seen as the key hurdle to cross.

Currently, the small village of Tyndrum is a local tourist destination, known mostly for being at a junction of major transport routes. It’s located in the northern part of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.