SCOTGOLD Resources, the Alternative Investment Market-listed company drilling for precious metals in the Trossachs, has increased its estimates for the amount of gold and silver it can extract as it seeks funding.

Since the beginning of last year, Scotgold has been conducting infill drilling at the Cononish mine to give a more accurate assessment to potential backers about the amount it can mine in the earlier years of the project.

The company, founded by chief executive Chris Sangster, told investors yesterday that the measured and indicated resources at the site had increased to 82,600 ounces of gold, up from 55,0000 previously. The total resource at Cononish is now reported at 169,200 ounces of gold and 631,300 ounces of silver.

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This a slight increase from 163,000 ounces of gold and 596,000 ounces of silver estimated in 2009.

The results were based on 13 holes drilled in the western part of the site in the first nine months of last year. Scotgold is awaiting the results of five holes drilled in the eastern portion. The updated estimates will form the basis for a revised mining plan and project development study for the site near Tyndrum, in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Pre-production costs have almost doubled in three years due to commodity prices, but the firm estimates it can recoup the costs of development in just 18 months of production.

The project is expected to bring 52 jobs to the area.