Scotgold Resources Ltd (LON:SGZ) continues to make progress on the ground at Cononish, the newly commissioned gold mine in the Grampian hills in Scotland.
First gold was poured on 30 November 2020, and since then work has focussed on commissioning of the outstanding circuits, principally the flotation and dewatering circuits, as well as operator training and punch listing minor items.
The complete plant has now operated at the design throughput rate of 7.5 tonnes per hour, including the commencement of tailings deposition into the Tailings Management Facility.
There is currently insufficient data available from the commissioning process to assess the metallurgical performance of the plant, however visual indications are that the flotation circuit is successfully recovering the sulphide minerals and therefore overall recoveries are also expected to be as planned.
The planned production ramp up will accelerate in January with the commencement of 24 hour processing operations. Under the company's accelerated expansion plan, production is targeted to increase to an annual rate of 9,910 ounces in 2021.
Thereafter, the company will focus on doubling the annual rate of ore production to 72,000 tonnes and more than doubling the average annual gold production to 23,500 ounces.
The company is fully-funded to achieve the second phase of expansion by May 2022.
It’s expected that Cononish will generate around £178mln in EBITDA.
“I would like to wish all our stakeholders a Merry Christmas,” said chief executive Richard Gray.
“It is gratifying and exciting to know we enter 2021 having achieved our first gold our on schedule, and we do so with an operating mine that is well placed to achieve our planned production ramp up. May we all have a Happy and Prosperous 2021!"