Firm aims to re-open Tyndrum gold mine
PROSPECTORS applying to re-open Cononish’s underground gold mine say it could create up to 60 jobs.
Scotgold Resources Ltd, based in Upper Tyndrum Station, is scoping for a proposed gold mine 3km south-west of Tyndrum, according to a pre-application submitted to the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority.
Extraction and processing operations at Cononish gold mine were originally permitted in 1996, and subsequently in 2012 and 2015. This revised application, with redesigned phasing and tailing, is intended to bring financial and environmental benefits. Since May 2016, Scotgold has been producing the precious metal above ground via its Bulk Processing Trial, which has processed 2,400 tonnes of ore stockpiled from the 1980s.
Its first ounce of Scottish gold, the first to be mined commercially in Scotland from Cononish gold and silver mine, sold for £21,000 at an auction in Edinburgh.
Twelve ‘rounds’ of gold an ounce in weight, and each stamped with the Scottish Gold Mark of the stag’s head, sold for an average price of £4,557.9 per ounce.
However, the ore stockpile is due to be exhausted by the end of the year, and the mining firm now hopes it can extract 560,000 tonnes of ore from an underground quartz vein carrying gold and silver.
‘The gold-bearing ore will be extracted using standard underground drill and blast methods,’ Scotgold’s pre-application states.
‘The mining schedule is hoped to start in April 2018, with the first ore available in 2018. It is proposed to apply for a mine life of 16 years. It may be possible to reduce this to around 10 years.’
Scottish gold is expected to add a 10 per cent premium.
Scotgold said: ‘The mine will provide employment for around 50 to 60 people, the majority of whom will be sourced from the local area, with the exception of around 13 specialist positions.
‘Cononish mine uses clean, modern methods to recover gold: there will be no mercury or cyanide at the project.
‘Instead, a gravity and flotation method separates the gold from the host quartz. It is vital that the clear streams and rivers of the Highlands remain uncontaminated.’
A public consultation will be held in Tyndrum Village Hall on May 24 from 10.30am to 8.30pm.