By Kirsty Topping
The rising price of gold it set to give Scotland a 130 million boost.
Prices of the precious metal have risen to more than $1500 per ounce and Scotland’s only commercial gold mine looks set to benefit.
Chris Sangster, chief executive of Scotsgold, who run the mine at Tyndrum said: – This could definitely give a boost to the Scots gold industry.
“The fact that the gold price now is at its highest certainly makes it more viable than ever.
“There’s a finite amount of gold in the rock and getting a higher price for that makes operations more attractive and more profitable.
“At current gold prices we estimate that there would be something like 130 million of gold and silver here – and that’s just what weknow about.
“We’ve been watching the price climb and climb and it definitely increases the economic importance of the project. “
The Scottish mine has never operated commercially and with it’s location in Loch Lomond National Park there are concerns over the environmental impact of commercial mining.
The company hope to get planning permission to start work this autumn, despite a previous application being turned down last summer.
Mr Sangster continued:
“We launced an appeal against that decision but we recently dropped it in favour of resubmitting an application by the end of next month.
“The concerns were about the landscape and the visual impact of the tailings management facility, which is where you store residue from the mining operation.
“In the submission we’ll reduce the sixe of that by half, so it will have considerably less of an impact.
“It was obviously disappointing not to get permission first time round and hopefully we’ll get through this time. We hope to hear about September.
“If we get the go-ahead we could see gold coming out by the end of next year.
“And employment will be about the same as we had expected before, around 50.
The original application was defeated by a narrow margin and there remains local support for the project.
In addition to the potential employment opportunities there has been talk of a local operation to turn some of the gold into jewellery to be sold nearby.
“We reckon there’s a good seven or eight years of production here,’ added Mr Sangster.
“We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t feel that commercial gold mining in Scotland had a future.