The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Planning Authority has received and validated mining firm Scotgold Resources’ application for a revision of the existing permitted operation at the Cononish gold and silver project in Scotland.

The validation marks the beginning of the statutory determination period, with Scotgold hoping for a decision to be arrived at by December.

In March, the company opted for a two-phase development of the project, with the first phase at 3,000t per month, while the second phase is planned to increase capacity to 6,000t per month.

Scotgold Resources CEO Richard Gray said: "The revisions made to the project in this application offer significant advantages, both in terms of environmental impacts and economics with the peak funding requirement reduced from £18.5m to £7.4m.

"In parallel to the permitting process, we are continuing to examine the financing options now available."

“In parallel to the permitting process, we are continuing to examine the financing options now available."

As per the revised plan, the company intends to change the tailings storage facility to a dry stack system.

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With the planning authority, the application includes the development of an underground gold mine with process plant building and tailings stacks, a settlement pond, flow gauging point, as well as a site drainage system that includes discharge to the River Cononish.

In addition, it covers a recirculation pipe returning water from the pond to the processing plant, and a new bridge over the Crom Allt at the Dalrigh ford, among other requirements at the project site.