PRODUCTION from what is reckoned will be Scotland’s first commercial gold mine in more than 500 years is expected to start by the end of November after work was delayed amid the fallout from the coronavirus.

Scotgold Resources said preparations for the first pour of gold from the Cononish mine near Tyndrum, about 50 miles north of Glasgow, were progressing well.

The company reckons Cononish holds enough reserves to be able to sustain nine years of production based on current estimates.

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Chief executive Richard Gray said Scotgold’s objective is to use the cash flow generative platform that Cononish is expected to provide to build a highly profitable, low risk gold mining company operating in stable jurisdictions.

Scotgold has spent years working on the Cononish project.

At the start of this year production from Cononish had been expected to start in May.

Operations were hampered by wet weather in January and February. Scotgold halted mining operations in March following the announcement of the coronavirus lockdown.Activities resumed in mid-June after the Scottish Government eased restrictions on construction industry activity.

Scotgold has beefed up its operations team in the expectation that Cononish could pave the way to it developing other mining operations in the Grampian Highlands.

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Geologist Simon Dominy has joined Scotgold as Group Manager – Resources and Reserves.

David Catterall has been appointed as exploration consultant to advise on the Grampian Project. This is focused on what Scotgold described as the highly prospective Grampian Terrane.