Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First New Gold Mine opens in Scotland for 500 years

First commercial gold mine is to be opened in Scotland after 500 Years!

The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty so it has come as a surprise to some, that the plans to develop a multi million-pound gold mine has gone ahead.

This has not been a smooth ride for the Australian mining company Scotgold Resources who had planning refused first time round in 2010 over conservation concerns. Economically it makes sense.

Scotsgold estimate that they should be able to extract £200 million of gold and silver from the mine over the next 10 years. which is to be constructed at Cononish in the heart of the National Park.

Once the mine is in operation it is expected that the rarity value of Scottish Gold will attract premium prices in an already over inflated market.

Scotgold Resources are expecting to extract around 20,000 ounces of gold and 80,000 ounces of silver each year and are delighted with the decision to go ahead.

This will be the first time in 500 years that Scottish gold will be mined commercially but it has become a viable proposition now because of the record high prices of gold.

The Cononish Gold mine is expected to create jobs for around 50 local people and have promised to restore the landscape back to its natural condition following the 10-year lease.

The National Trust who granted permission in October 2011 weighed up both sides of the argument and decided that the temporary loss to the special character of Glen Cononish would be offset by the long time conversation benefits and much needed economic boost to the local area and Scotland.

A legally binding agreement ensures that once the mine reaches the end of its 10-year tenure and the landscape is restored, the landscape will actually be improved from its current state.

The news of the gold mine has not been received by everyone quite so positively. Mountaineers are concerned that the workings will undermine the approach to Ben Lui and ruin the view for over 10,000 people who walk and climb the mountain, and the RSPB and Scottish National Heritage have also opposed the decision.

As one objector said,  
“I thought the point of creating the national park was to protect the area against the sort of development that destroyed the areas outstanding natural beauty!”

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