Scotgold Resources (LON: SGZ) has poured first gold at its Cononish mine, marking a significant milestone on the asset’s path to becoming Scotland’s first commercial gold and silver operation.
Mine production will ramp up to design level early next year, the company said, with a first phase output rate of 36,000 tonnes of ore per year and total gold production of 9,910 ounces in 2021.
Phase two of Cononish’s expansion aims to double ore production to 72,000 tonnes and lift output to 23,500 ounces of gold by May 2022.
Scotgold said in October it had found “encouraging” signs of more precious metals at project, which backed up the economics for phase two of the project. That stage, already fully funded, will cost £96 million ($129 million).
The asset churned out gold in August 2016, following the launch of an ore processing trial. After the local authorities gave the project their blessing, the company began building a large-scale operation.
As many as 52 jobs could be created during production, and the firm has offered nearly £500,000 (about $612,000) in payments to support the nearby local community of Tyndrum.
The small village is currently a local tourist destination, known mostly for being at a junction of major transport routes.