Scotgold Resources has announced that the first gold has been poured at the company’s Cononish Gold and Silver Mine near Tyndrum.

The company said the pour on Monday is a “major milestone” and that it “looks forward to ramping up production” at Cononish early in the New Year, allowing it to “take its place as Scotland’s first commercial gold mine”.

The company said that it is now focused on completing an accelerated expansion plan to increase production at the mine to 23,500 ounces a year.

The current first phase is targeting an annual rate of ore production of 36,000 tonnes and total gold production of 9,910 ounces in 2021.

READ MORE: Scotgold set to produce first gold

Phase two will focus on doubling the annual rate of ore production to 72,000 tonnes and a more than doubling in average annual gold production to 23,500 ounces.

The company is fully funded to achieve phase two expansion by May 2022, 17 months from the start of phase one production.

A remodelling exercise incorporating the above accelerated expansion plan for Cononish and gold and silver prices of £1,400/oz and £19.23/oz respectively “delivered highly attractive LOM (Life of Mine) economics”, including £178 million Ebitda (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) and £156m pre-tax cash flow.

Richard Gray, Scotgold chief executive, hailed the move and said: “Our first gold pour is not only a significant milestone in the development of our Cononish Gold and Silver Project but a milestone on the road to a Scottish gold mining industry. Today’s news is therefore a landmark event both for the company and for Scotland.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the work of the Scotgold team both at the operational and managerial levels. All our personnel have worked tirelessly to make this happen in the face of unprecedented challenges caused not least by the ongoing pandemic and associated restrictions.

“I would also like to thank our shareholders, contractors, advisers, regulatory agencies, the Scottish Government and all stakeholders in the project for their support throughout this journey.” Shares closed down 3.5p at 115p.