SCOTGOLD has hailed a £9 million fundraising as a “momentous occasion for gold production in Scotland”, voicing its confidence it has sufficient funds to develop its planned mine at Cononish in Argyll and conduct further exploration.

It announced yesterday it had raised £4 million before expenses from a share placing and subscription at 27.5p per share. It added it had also agreed a secured loan facility of £5m with Nat le Roux, who is its non-executive chairman and a substantial shareholder.

The company said its focus was now on finalisation of necessary planning agreements, which was expected “in the coming weeks”.

Scotgold declared: “Together with existing cash reserves, the company believes it has sufficient funds to build the Cononish gold mine, execute a planned exploration programme and meet ongoing working capital needs.”

Chief executive Richard Gray said: “This is a momentous occasion for the company and for gold production in Scotland.”

Scotgold said that, at full capacity, the Cononish mine is expected to produce on average about 23,500 equivalent ounces of gold annually.