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By Russell Bruce

At the meeting of the board of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park this afternoon the board gave unanimous approval to the planning application for the Cononish Gold Mine near Tyndrum.

The Cononish mine, owned by Scotgold Resources, is expected to produce 154,000 ounces of gold and 589,000 ounces of silver over the next 10 years.

Scotgold plan to create 52 jobs and according to an independent report commissioned from economist Professor David Bell of Stirling University, the mine will general £80 million for the Scottish economy over its 8 to 10 year period of operation.

Situated in the north west of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park the Cononish Gold mine near Tyndrum has a long and complex planning history dating back to the 1980s.

Previously owned by Fynegold, the assets were taken over by Scotgold Resources in 2007, an Australian company listed on the Australian stock exchange and on AIM in the UK.

Chris Sangster, Scotgold’s CEO has been working for the last four years to get the mine up and running.  Extensive geological studies have been carried out to provide reliable estimates of the gold and silver in the Cononish seam.

With the 1996 planning permission from Stirling Council having expired Chris Sangster and his team of advisers prepared an application to the new planning authority for the area, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

The application received enthusiastic local support from the community and many others.  It was widely expected that the application would be recommended for approval, by the Director of Planning.

However, due to environmental concern over the tailings management it was recommended for refusal and after a stormy meeting of the National Park Board last August the application was refused by a narrow majority.

Scotgold were back to the drawing board and engaged in discussions with the planners to find a solution to the concerns of the National Park.  A new application was submitted earlier this year and Gordon Watson, Director of Rural Development and Planning, recommended the new application for approval on 13th October.

To keep the project on track and with no earnings coming in, the company announced their third rights issue in two years in early August.  Between planning the rights issue and trading opening on Monday 8th August, the stock market had taken an almighty plunge.

In a testament of faith by Scotgold’s patient investors, 87% of the rights issue was taken up.  Investors have seen the value of shares bought at the discounted rights price now double.

SNP MSP for Stirling, Bruce Crawford, welcomed the planning approval and said:
 
“This is fantastic news for Cononish and the surrounding communities.  I have fully supported the application throughout and I am delighted with this announcement. 

“The mine will support 50 jobs in the Tyndrum area, providing an important boost to the local economy of the area at a time of severe economic difficulties.  I have no doubt that Scottish gold and silver will become very popular with those looking for unique Scottish jewellery.

“This will not just have a huge impact on the surrounding communities but is estimated to bring in £80million in additional economic activity for Scotland as a whole.
 
“I look forward to this project now moving forward and to the positive difference this exciting business can make to the area.”

The Tyndrum Mineral Field is a historic mining area containing several vein-hosted deposits of base metals, including lead, copper and zinc. The best known are the historic Tyndrum eighteenth century lead mines, discovered in 1741 and which produced lead for more than a century.  Some veins also contain gold and by far the most important is the Cononish vein-hosted gold and silver deposit 4km South-west of Tyndrum.

Previous exploration has also identified the Tyndrum-Glen Fyne Fault - one of the major fault structures of the Dalradian metamorphic complex with gold potential lying against and north of the Highland Boundary Fault.

Scotgold were granted further exploration licences in 2007 in areas to the north and south of Cononish.  The company believes the Loch Fyne exploration block contains significant potential for gold mineralization.

The British Geological Survey (BGS), carried out geochemical surveys over the entire area held by Scotgold and have expressed the view that there are significant metalliferous deposits yet to be discovered in the Dalradian of Scotland.

At the time of the 2010 planning application the price of gold was trading around $900 an ounce.  Since then the price of gold has risen steadily reaching over $1900 an ounce at one point.  Having since fallen back, the price has steadied recently at above $1600, well above Scotgold’s extraction costs.

Because of its rarity Scottish gold tends to command higher prices.  The opening of the mine is expected to boost the prospects of Scotland’s jewellers with many craftsman designers expected to take advantage of Scotland’s gold rush.

The news has cheered investors and the electronic ticker shows considerable activity, mainly from small investors since the news broke.

Scotgold are planning to raise £15m to get the mine up and running and part of that is likely to be another call on shareholders with a further rights issue.

According to Snowden Mining Industry Consultants Ltd, who completed an independent JORC compliant resource report on Scotgold’s Cononish gold project, there is strong potential for a further 160,000 to 320,000 ounces of gold within a few kilometers of Cononish mine.

 

Readers should not take this article as a recommendation to buy shares in Scotgold and should seek appropriate advice if inclined to do so. They should also note the writer was a board member of the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park for 8 years until the end of June 2010 and holds shares in Scotgold.

Comments  

 
# UpSpake 2011-10-25 16:03
Not sure I understand how this is Scotland's first goldmine when gold has been mined in Scotland for 100's of years and this particular mine was last worked 30 years ago or so ?.
Nevertheless, great to see a mine giving much needed jobs to the area.
 
 
# tartanfever 2011-10-25 16:11
Don't tell Broon, we all know how much he likes selling our gold.

Oh, and if Russell, our reporter has done well out of the deal, maybe he can buy us a round when we get our NNS gathering sorted out.
 
 
# Scottish republic 2011-10-25 16:18
This is fantastic news as long as there's minimal environmental concerns.

Scotland has so much - not least of all an under promoted tourist industry.

We do well but we can do much better if we give tourists a real Scottish experience to enjoy.

And if we can make it cheaper to come here and spend time - though don't know how that would be possible practically speaking.
 
 
# tartanfever 2011-10-25 16:31
Well Aberdeen just extended it's runway, Edinburgh Airport being sold may bring in further foreign flights, particularly from North America and being able to determine flight and aviation taxes will help. When we get independence we can invest in our own rail and road structure - unlike HS2 which will cost the Scottish tax payers millions but has no chance of getting further north than Manchester/ Leeds.
 
 
# mato21 2011-10-25 16:38
SORRY TO BE O/T GO TO BBC WEBSITE SEE LATEST
 
 
# RTP 2011-10-25 17:00
Is this what you mean.

25 October 2011 Last updated at 17:33 Share this pageEmail Print Share this page

13ShareFacebookTw itter.SNP MP alleges Ian Davidson made 'doing' remark
 
 
# mato21 2011-10-25 17:02
Yes Dr E Whiteford claims to have been threatened by I.Davidson and has withdrawn from the committee for as long as he remains chairman
 
 
# Alba4Eva 2011-10-25 17:10
bbc.co.uk/.../...

...the link done properly for you technophobes. *;09

Absolutely disgusting if proven true... only a cowardly filthy scumbag resorts to threatening a woman with violence. If its true, he should not only lose his position on the committee, but should be struck off as an MP.

The guy strikes me as a ***** twit.

[Please do not descend to Davidson's standards - NNS Moderation Team]

In response, the edit above gives the impression that I cursed or swore, which is wrong. I used the word fascist simply to highlight the rediculous use of it in Westminster by Ian Davidson, as NNS have followed up with in the next article.

There are a number of subtly different contexts which the word fascist can be used and I did not use it in the same way as Davidson. en.m.wikipedia.org/.../Fascism

In Dictionary.com "3. Fascist - n. A person who is dictorial or has right wing views." ...this is not the same as 'neo-fascist'!

Kind regards, Alba4Eva
 
 
# farrochie 2011-10-25 17:05
Let's see if it gets aired on Reporting Scotland.
 
 
# DJ 2011-10-25 18:43
Don't know if it was covered in that particular gem of a programme, however it was mentioned on Newsdrive at around 5.45pm
 
 
# Jimmy 2011-10-25 23:05
Yes the BBC said that the mine was closed in the 90's when the value of gold collapsed. Strangely they didn't explain why the price collapsed. Broon sold 400 tonnes of it at $250 an ounce ( $1700 at the moment). The sale was pre announced so the price dropped even more and is now called 'Browns Bottom' by gold traders.
The latest estimates are that he lost the UK economy £13Bn in extra revenue. Reports have also revealed that the reason for the sell off was to boost the euro in 1999 when the euro was established as Brown transferred the gold into mostly euros giving it a helping hand on it's birth. Another fail for Labour and a distortion of the truth when Brown claims to have hated the euro.
 
 
# rgweir 2011-10-25 17:01
Off topic.
Ian davidson reported for bullying a female member of his committee.
It is reported that he told a female member he would give her a do-ing if she gave information about their closed meeting.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-10-25 18:07
Is this the very same Ian Davidson, of the Labour party, who recently shouted down an SNP MP in the house of commons with the totally unwarranted and offensive outburst, and I quote;


"narrow, neo-fascism of the nationalists".

Not content with such unforgivable behaviour, now he seems, accordin to reports to have been acting as a bully towards a female member of the Scottish affairs select committee.

Seriously , is this really the guy Labour have as a candidate for the deputy leadership of the holyrood Labour group?? Is this really the head of Westminster's laughingly titled 'Scottish affairs select committe??'

No matter what the politics, is it not becoming clear, that perhaps Labour's Ian Davidson is no longer fit for public office. At what point will Ed Miliband do something about it - or is such behaviour towards women acceptable t Ed Miliband??.

Yet day after day, Labour carry on wondering why they are unelectable in Scotland. Jeezo.
 
 
# Macart 2011-10-25 20:47
No mystery for me RL. THEY ARE NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE!!
 
 
# tartanfever 2011-10-25 18:11
yep, his remark was directed towards SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford.

According to the BBC she is speaking to the speaker of the house, John Bercow accompanied by Angus Robertson.

A conservative MP has said he heard no such thing being said.

Yes RL, it is the very same man that made those outbursts.
 
 
# the wallace 2011-10-25 17:14
I hope its a great success.
 
 
# Massacre1965 2011-10-25 17:25
I watched last weeks committee meeting - it was dreadful. There was lots of moments when my telly was just about launched. Dundee MP Jim McGovern had a token question about health and safety in the oil industry. However, before he asked his question he advised the committee that his wife was in town and could they keep their answers concise as he was meeting her at 8 pm.

This 'Scottish' committee is a total farce - members include Dundee's Mr Invisible - Jim McGovern abd two tories representing Dewsbury and Golders Green.
 
 
# jafurn 2011-10-25 17:46
There are actually four english conservative mp's on this committee

Scottish Affairs Committee - membership The members of the Committee were appointed on Tuesday 13 July 2010

Member Party
Mr Ian Davidson (Chair) Labour/Co-op
Cathy Jamieson Labour
Fiona Bruce Conservative
Mike Freer Conservative
Jim McGovern Labour
David Mowat Conservative
Fiona O'Donnell Labour
Simon Reevell Conservative
Mr Alan Reid Liberal Democrat
Lindsay Roy Labour
Dr Eilidh Whiteford Scottish National Party
 
 
# Scrog87 2011-10-25 17:29
Out of curiosity how does this fit in with the Royal Mines Act 1424? en.m.wikipedia.org/.../...
 
 
# mato21 2011-10-25 17:33
Good heavens don't give them any ideas
 
 
# Old Smokey 2011-10-25 18:23
a bit OT
Anyone know about speculation that ITV are thinking abuot taking over STV?
Just came accross an article in a online trade publication
thedrum.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# dillond666 2011-10-25 22:59
Sounds potentially disastrous, given that STV seem a little more fair minded towards the SNP than any other channel.
I'd bet ITV would push that annoying "British" perspective on everything. Bad news with the referendum coming up.
 
 
# ianbeag 2011-10-25 19:07
This development could now be in production with employment for around 50 people earning £1.7 million/annum had it not been voted down by one Labour councillor in Stirling council a year ago. In spite of the full backing of the local Community Council, the votes of all the SNP councillors in Stirling Council and the backing of almost all the local organisations the planning application was defeated by the vote of this one Labour councillor. Employing 50 people in a rural area like Tyndrum is probably the economic equivalent of delivering 700 new jobs in one of our cities. Congratulations to the local groups which doggedly supported this enterprise from its inception.
 
 
# Sheltie 2011-10-25 19:16
As a jeweller I cannot wait for the silver and gold to become available :-)
 
 
# shackled to a corpse 2011-10-25 19:19
As a consumer, neither can I!
 
 
# Alba4Eva 2011-10-25 20:40
Some special 18carrot SNP badges made from Scottish gold to go on sale at the SNP web shop soon then? *;0)


Like this... shop.snp.org/.../...
 
 
# west_lothian_questioner 2011-10-25 19:34
VERY O/T

bbc.co.uk/.../...

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you...

winning is just around the corner then!
 
 
# Macart 2011-10-25 19:47
Excellent news for the Tyndrum area. More power to their elbows! :0)
 
 
# govanite 2011-10-25 19:52
Have they found London's gold ?
 
 
# Jimmy 2011-10-25 22:59
Probably busily redrawing the maps of Britain right now. Tyndrum was actually connected to Northumberland via land upheavals in the Jurraisic period and so it's technically English gold. Hand it over.
 
 
# Ken500 2011-10-25 22:31
'Black gold' Oil and coal. Now things are coming up shiny gold. Could it get any better. Aye - fiscal autonomy/Independence
 
 
# kofk 2011-10-26 01:54
Energy energy energy, and then there was gold,
Question for us all, whats more important? energy or gold!...take your time no rush (pardon the pun)
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2011-10-26 14:35
Hi kofk,
If China is looking at adopting a gold standard to back the RMB, it cant be a bad thing for Scotland to have gold as a resource. I can think of a few who places who would be only too happy to have the chance. Have a wee look at the industrial usage of gold and you'll be surprised to find it's used for far more than making ear rings, even the energy industry need the stuff.

eg. from Geology

Future Uses of Gold.
Gold is too expensive to use by chance. Instead it is used deliberately and only when less expensive substitutes can not be identified. As a result, once a use is found for gold it is rarely abandoned for another metal. This means that the number of uses for gold have been increasing over time.

Most of the ways that gold is used today have been developed only during the last two or three decades. This trend will likely continue. As our society requires more sophisticated and reliable materials our uses for gold will increase. This combination of growing demand, few substitutes and limited supply will cause the value and importance of gold to increase steadily over time. It is truly a metal of the future.

You may want to have a wee read at this.
thenewamerican.com/.../6413-communist-china-embraces-the-gold-st...
 
 
# kofk 2011-10-26 02:08
Scotland is at the forefront of renewable energy, i think under further research you,ll find our hills are full of the shiny stuff (gold).
is it a cure for cancer or other human ills? i fear not , but hey molded into somthing that looks good, well bobs yer uncle,. realistically not a great investment
 
 
# Caadfael 2011-10-26 07:17
Oh dear! does that mean that being 50.68% up in my investment is no good?
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2011-10-26 10:01
Behave yersel C.

Apart from folk like us investing in Scotgold to make sure the gold is mined, the overall big winner is Scotland. I'm positive that like me that gives you a buzz.
It could well be that Coronish is only a modest start according to the experts, so it's not too late for anyone who wishes, to get behind the project
 
 
# Guig 2011-10-26 05:00
Has Comoron and the ConDem Government claimed owenership of it yet?
 
 
# Ken500 2011-10-26 14:47
Celtic wedding rings etc. Big sellers
 
 
# Ken500 2011-10-26 14:48
Greece is developing a gold mine. The biggest in Europe.
 
 
# pinkrose 2011-10-26 18:55
I think Scotland starting a goldmine is symbolic ;)
 

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