By Ian McConnell

The company developing the Cononish gold mine near Tyndrum in Argyll yesterday hailed “record-breaking" production in December – which exceeded the previous all-time high monthly figure by around 60 per cent.

Scotgold Resources’ shares rose 11% or 7.5p to 75p on the back of its production and operations update.

The company said its production in the fourth quarter of 2021 totalled 1,508 ounces of gold.

And Scotgold declared it was targeting a run rate for gold production of around 23,500 ounces per annum by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

It noted November production had been impacted negatively by “Covid-related supply of explosives for the mine”. The company added that this short-term supply issue had been resolved in November and ore extraction now continued in line with its mine plan.

Scotgold declared that a record 101 tonnes of concentrate had been produced in December, equating to approximately 700 ounces of contained gold. It noted this was an increase of around 60% on the previous best monthly concentrate production.

Chief executive Phil Day said it had “taken hard work, dedication, extensive planning and committed teamwork to transform...mining operations during the past nine months since I joined as CEO”.

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He added: “I’m delighted to report on our record-breaking gold concentrate production in December 2021, which saw a [circa] 60% increase in production from our previous record month. Our 2021 initiatives to increase production efficiencies and ramp up production are working.”

Mr Day said Scotgold Resources had “almost completed phase-one ramp-up production” and continued “to be cash-generative as...production revenues exceed operational costs”.

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Looking ahead, the company said that, with the implementation of its phase two expansion stage, expected to start by the first quarter of 2023, the current life of the mine stands at eight-and-a-half years.

However, it added: “The company believes there is significant potential to increase the resource at Cononish, with corresponding increase of life of mine. There are several areas within the Cononish resource that have not yet been adequately tested but are capable of hosting mineable high-grade pods.”