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Scotgold Resources Limited announce update on gold and silver mine

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

Scotgold Resources Limited, Scotland’s first commercial gold producer, has announced an operations, production and sales update for its Cononish gold and silver mine in Scotland (Cononish), as it continues to deliver optimisation initiatives to increase efficiencies, mining rates, gold recovery and production, in line with the company’s objective to achieve phase two production levels of 23 500 oz/yr run rate of gold.

Optimisation initiatives 

  • Underground power and ventilation upgrades to improve access, operations and increase mining rate and ore extraction completed in late August.
  • Debottlenecking of process plant areas, such as flotation and tailings filtration, completed enhancing gold recoveries and efficiencies beyond management’s initial expectations. This enables the plant to process up to approximately 4000 t of feed per month prior to installation of tailings thickener (a 33% increase in previous capacity at this point).
  • Tailings thickener erected in the processing plant with construction well under way. Planned commissioning moved to 4Q22 to enable smooth implementation in line with increased throughput of ore from the debottlenecking initiative. Following commissioning, the process plant is estimated to achieve approximately 5000 t per month throughput (an 11% increase to previous estimates).
  • Further optimisations of process plant tailings filter (adding further filter plates to the tailings filter and minor modifications around the ball mill and flotation areas) planned for 4Q22 to further increase throughput of the processing plant to approximately 6000 t per month to achieve production levels of 23 500 oz/yr run rate of gold.

Cononish gold production

  • 3Q22 (3 months to 30 September 2022) revised production guidance of approximately 2000 oz of gold (previous guidance of 2900 to 3500 ounces of gold) due to the successful but delayed commissioning of the power and ventilation project, delaying mine development on the waste ramp which allows access to cut and fill stope three.
  • With underground power and ventilation upgrades and incremental debottlenecking of process plant completed, throughput has increased to approximately 4000 t of feed per month. 4Q22 production is expected to be in line with mine plan and significantly ahead of 2Q/3Q22 2022 production, and achieve optimisation phase production run rate of approximately 16 000 oz/yr of gold. This is a significant step towards achieving phase two production levels of 23 500 oz/yr run rate of gold as planned by end of 1Q23.

Gold sales

  • July and August gold concentrate shipments totalled 214 t with a sales value of £2.6 million.

Scotgold Resources CEO, Phil Day said:

“We achieved commercial production in July 2022 and continue to operate as a cash generative business. I am hugely encouraged by progress to date, which sees the majority of optimisation initiatives completed, strongly placing us for 4Q22 and 1Q23, driving the production ramp up towards phase two, and indeed margins, cash generation and profitability, in line with our stated strategy.

“Notwithstanding the reduction in gold production in late August/early September and consequent knock-on reduction of 3Q22 guidance to approximately 2000 oz of gold, due to the successful, but delayed implementation of the power and ventilation upgrades – I am excited looking ahead. The delayed ore extraction from the mine will be negated by the recent upgrades in power and ventilation and 4Q22/1Q23 are set to be very robust quarters in line with our mine plan and forecast to see a significant increase to 2Q and 3Q22 production.

“The process plant current throughput has increased to approximately 4000 t/ per month (from 3000 t per month in 2Q22) and this is targeted to increase to approximately 5000 t per month when the tailings thickener comes online and then again to approximately 6000 t per month with further optimisation of the plant in 4Q22. We remain on track to deliver phase two of Cononish’s ramp up and annualised production levels of 23 500 oz gold by the end of 1Q23.”

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Gold mining news Silver mining news European mining news