Following on from our report back on 5 September on the possible future site of a gold mine in Romania, it looks like continuing insatiable demand for gold and silver has seen prospectors looking closer to home for the precious metals.
Planning officials from the parks board of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority in Scotland have given their approval for a project to develop a commercial gold and silver mine within the park and will consider the plans on 24-25 October. This is the second application made to the authority, with the first being rejected in April 2011.
Scotgold, the company leading the project, made revisions to its second application and appear confident that they have eased the park authority’s concerns. Scotgold’s chief executive Chris Sangster said “We are delighted with the recommendation in the report and are confident that, in considering its decision, the parks board will endorse the executive director’s recommendation.”
The mine would be located at Cononish near Tyndrum and would mark the first time gold has been extracted successfully from a Scottish mine in more than 500 years, with Scotgold foreseeing the mine producing 20,000oz (567kg) of gold and 80,000oz (2,268kg) of silver a year.
Nevertheless, it was inevitable that a mining project of this size in an area of outstanding natural beauty would draw the attention of environmental conservation groups. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) objected to the initial plans put forward by Scotgold earlier in the year, but did state that their objections could be overcome “either through conditions or with some detailed commitments”.
With Scotgold promising local employment opportunities however during a time of austerity and the demand for gold and silver showing no signs of slowing down, it could well be this argument that finally ensures their plans come to fruition.