Scotgold Resources (LON: SGZ), the company aiming at opening Scotland’s first commercial gold and silver mine, said Wednesday that it was ready is to start rock-breaking in the new year after receiving the green light.
The company, which completed 19 permitting conditions and other related obligations for its Cononish project, near Tyndrum, said the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Planning Authority (NPA) have authorized to begin mine development.
“We are delighted to have reached this point and are looking forward to a very exciting 2019, bringing the Cononish Project into production,” chief executive Richard Gray said in the statement.
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 reopen an old mine shaft and move 170,000 tonnes of rock, along with the mineral ore.
The company, which received initial approval in February, 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. The small village is currently a local tourist destination, known mostly for being at a junction of major transport routes.
First gold production is expected by the end of 2019. The company expects to process around 3,000 tonnes of ore per month in the first phase, which will double in phase two.
A feasibility study last year estimated Cononish can generate between £67 million and £100 million in earnings over the mine life.
Scotgold’s shares skyrocketed on the news, closing 11.5% higher at 37.90p.