Scotgold Resources Limited (LON:SGZ) has told investors its full underground development team is now back at work and blasting operations have resumed at the Cononish gold and silver mine in Scotland.
The return to full operation was in line with the group's schedule announced in June, and operations are in full compliance with the coronavirus (COVID-19) safe operating procedures, the company added.
At the same time, Scotgold is ramping up drilling capacity at the mine project with the addition of extra rigs, via a new agreement with Epiroc UK & Ireland Ltd. The agreement sees the company take a second new T1D drill rig and a second-hand ST2G scooptram.
This reduces the mechanical availability risk associated with having single units required for Phase 1 production levels, the company noted, and also reduces the burden of any future ramp-up to Phase 2.
Phase 1 sees up to 36,000 tonnes of ore mined per annum (tpa), while Phase 2 is slated to increase up to72,000 tpa.
"Our key focus is obviously the processing plant, but at the same time we are putting the pieces in place to ensure the long term success of the mining operation and a reliable supply of ore to treat," Scotgold CEO, Richard Gray said in a statement.
Scotgold noted that the overall critical path activities remain its focus, namely the process plant building, equipment installation and commissioning.
Presently, operations are focused on the building column pads, floor slabs and the preassembly of equipment support infrastructure, which it described as “progressing well”.