Mining firm Scotgold Resources has reported first gold pour from its Cononish underground gold and silver mine in Scotland.

The Cononish gold and silver mine is located in the Grampian Highlands of mid-western Scotland.

It forms the economic base of Scotgold’s Grampian Project, which aims to identify gold and base metal resources within the Grampian Terrane.

The company said that it will now focus on completing an ‘accelerated expansion plan’ to increase the mine’s production to 23,500 ounces per annum (oz/a).

The current phase of production is targeting an annual production of 36,000t of gold and total gold production of 9,910oz for next year.

Scotgold Resources CEO Richard Gray said: “Our first gold pour is not only a significant milestone in the development of our Cononish Gold & Silver Project but a milestone on the road to a Scottish gold mining industry.

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“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the work of the Scotgold team both at the operational and managerial levels. All our personnel have worked tirelessly to make this happen in the face of unprecedented challenges caused not least by the ongoing pandemic and associated restrictions.”

Scotgold said that it was fully funded to achieve second phase of expansion by May 2022, a period of 17 months from the commencement of the first phase production.

Construction and development activities at the project were suspended between 27 March and 15 June to comply with the coronavirus-related emergency measures of the Government of Scotland.

In May 2018, Scotgold Resources secured the final tranche of development funding for the construction of the Cononish gold mine.