In 1998 the UK’s last operational gold mine ceased activity; the cost of extracting the gold from the Cononish Gold mine, close to the village of Tyndrum in Scotland made the business uneconomical.
Ten years on and in July 2008 the mine, owned by an Australian mining company trading as ScotGold Resources was survey to establish if the approximate 300% gold price increase in the intervening decade would again position the mine as an economically viable venture.
The village of Tyndrum in the Western Highlands is situated at one end of a rock seam with proven gold and silver producing properties. The seam stretches west out from the Scottish coastline across the Atlantic towards Canada and North into Sweden & Norway.
ScotGold anticipate the mine could be viable for up to eight years, previous mining activity and initial geological surveys suggest as much as 150,000 ounces of gold and over half a million ounces of silver could be extracted from the mine. Even if only a fraction of the estimated figured is achieved, the current gold highs could make the project a profitable success for both the mining company and the local community.
Gold and silver maintain value thanks to their scarcity and global demand, to date only a small fraction of the earth’s gold and silver resources have been mined but as on-going demand increases the availability of easily extracted material in nearing exhaustion. The inflation busting price surge of precious alloys in recent years has made even the more inaccessible alloy deposits once again an attractive and all the more viable consideration, and as mining technology improves, even the most remote and hostile environments become an attractive prospect.
Some Image copyrights ScotGold Resources Limited.