Aim-listed Scotgold Resources has confirmed that the development schedule of the 23 500 oz/y Cononish gold/silver mine, in Scotland, has been delayed, with first gold from the project only expected beyond May.
The company says excessive rain in January and February has made development difficult on site.
Scotgold has attempted to mitigate these conditions by using smaller, less weather-dependent earthmoving equipment. The company has also tried to mitigate the cost implications by undertaking these activities “in-house” and using its own skilled workforce, instead of outsourcing.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the situation, with the project now needing to close down as per the Scottish government’s instruction.
Scotgold confirms that it will continue with care-and-maintenance operations to ensure the health, safety and secure environmental aspects of the projects.
“We are currently uncertain as to the impact the pandemic will have on our supply chain and our specialist contractors' ability to mobilise for the building construction and plant assembly activities.
“We will continue to work with our various stakeholders in this regard to mitigate all such risks and to provide greater clarity in due course on what the ultimate impact on schedule and costs might be,” says CEO Richard Gray.
Located in the Highlands north of Glasgow, Cononish is Scotland’s first commercial gold mine. The project has faced several delays, with first production having been pushed out several times.