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08 Jul 2020 | 14:02

Full underground team back at Scotgold's Cononish mine

(Sharecast News) - Scotgold Resources announced on Wednesday that the full underground development team has now returned to work, and blasting activities are being conducted at the Cononish Gold and Silver Mine. The AIM-traded firm said the activities were being conducted under Covid-19 safe operating procedures.

In a separate development, it also said it had reached an agreement with Epiroc UK & Ireland to supply a second new T1D drill rig and a second hand ST2G scooptram, which has become available within the UK.

Scotgold said having a second unit of each machine would reduce the mechanical availability risk associated with having single units required for phase one production levels of 36,000 tonnes of ore per annum, and also meant only one additional truck would be required for any future ramp up to phase two, at 72,000 tonnes of ore per annum.

A further advantage, the board said, was that the additional machinery would provide an opportunity to increase its training activities, with both machines being supplied on a rental with option to purchase basis.

The company said the mine's former care and maintenance team, which includes about half of the current mining team, was now engaged with the remaining earthworks activities.

Those included the run of mine pad, where gold-bearing ore would be stockpiled, and the site and tailings stacks drainage system, complete with a new settlement pond.

The overall critical path activities remained, Scotgold explained, including the process plant building, equipment installation and commissioning.

Current activities were focussed on the building column pads, floor slabs and the preassembly of equipment support infrastructure.

"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," said chief executive officer Richard Gray.

At 1122 BST, shares in Scotgold Resources were down 0.69% at 72p.
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