Scotland-focused gold miner Soctgold Resources Ltd (LON:SGZ) may have found a way to significantly increase the amount of gold it can extract from the concentrate produced at its Cononish mine.
Currently, Scotgold is using tabling methods which has allowed it extract around 40% of the gold in the galena concentrate, totalling around 17oz so far.
The miner has described this as an “achievable but labour intensive” process, and has sought help from a couple of UK-based firms, SGS and Wheal Jane, to maximise the amount of gold that can be retrieved.
This partnership may have yielded some good results too, with SGS and Wheal Jane demonstrating that almost 100% of the gold locked into the concentrate can be extracted by using a thermal process called cupellation.
"We continue to find opportunities to improve the bulk processing trial (BPT) and, more importantly, the ultimate development plan for the Cononish Mine,” said chief executive Richard Gray.
“The technical work to verify these potential opportunities is ongoing and we anticipate an update to the Cononish BFS to be completed in Q1 2017.”
As of 26 October, the BPT had generated around 300kg of the gold-rich galena concentrate, containing an estimated 77oz of gold, including the 17oz already extracted.
Aside from this, Scotgold also announced that it has agreed a deal to sell up to 120 tonnes of gold-rich pyrite concentrate to a Dutch firm for an undisclosed amount.
The shipment to Ocean Partners will take place once the appropriate logistics have been put in place, Scotgold said.
It is currently sitting on around 13.5 tonnes of pyrite concentrate, which is estimated to contain 91oz of the precious metal.
First Scottish gold auction results
Scotgold raised almost £46,000 after it auctioned off ten gold rounds made from gold produced at its Cononish mine.
The average price accepted was £4,558 per ounce, a whopping 378% over the current spot price of £953.
One buyer, Graham Donaldson, who is also a Scotgold investor, paid over £21,000 to get his hands on the very first one.
One of the reasons that the rounds fetched so much money in the sealed bids auction was because they were made from the first gold to be commercially mined in Scotland.
Shares were up 7% to 0.64p.
--Updates for gold auction results and share price--