Scotland’s only gold miner reveals exit

The gold mine <i>(Image: Jamie Simpson)</i>
The gold mine (Image: Jamie Simpson)

THE company developing the Cononish gold mine near Tyndrum in Argyll has revealed that its chief executive has resigned, while reporting operational progress at the site.

Scotgold Resources announced Phil Day’s impending departure, to spend more time with his family in Australia, in an announcement to the stock market this morning.

Peter Hetherington, chairman of Scotgold, highlighted the company's commitment to "ongoing development and production from Cononish, Scotland’s first commercial gold mine".

Scotgold said: “Phil Day has notified the board of directors of his intention to resign as chief executive officer of Scotgold, and given notice under his contract of employment, citing a desire to spend more time with his family members in Australia. The board has reluctantly accepted his resignation. The process of recruiting a permanent successor will begin immediately and Phil Day remains in post at this time.”

Mr Hetherington said: “On behalf of Scotgold’s board of directors, I thank Phil for his dedication, unwavering support and very significant contribution to the company.

“Under his calm and steady leadership, since April 2021, Phil has guided the Cononish mine to safe and environmentally compliant commercial production, redesigned the mine schedule, implemented cut and fill stoping for faster access to higher-grade zones, commenced long hole stope mining and ramped up the process plant for optimal continuous operation.”

Scotgold updated the stock market on progress at the mine, and the completion of key projects.

It said: “As announced on May 15, 2023, Scotgold Resources Limited, Scotland's first commercial gold producer, commenced long hole stoping, along the 115m strike length in the underground mine at its Cononish gold and silver mine. Long hole stoping on block one was safely completed on time.

"Drilling of stope block two has now commenced with blasting targeted for around a week’s time. "

Highlighting specific measures relating to certain sections of the mine and the grade of ore extracted for processing, Scotgold added: “The raise air vent to establish better air ventilation between the 400 and 415 level has also been completed. In parallel the waste ramp development to the 445 level was also completed - this allowed development mining on the 445 east level ore body to commence.

"The 445 east level development ore currently being fed to the process plant is good gold grade ore, in line with our expectations, with an average grade of 8.3g/t (grammes per tonne), with the last three assays coming in at 13.7g/t, 12.9g/t and 16.9g/t respectively.”

Mr Hetherington said: “Significant challenges obviously remain for Scotgold. We as a board have a duty of care to all team members and respect Phil’s request for the time and space, away from CEO PLC duties, with his family in Australia."

He added: "We remain committed to all stakeholders and the ongoing development and production from Cononish, Scotland’s first commercial gold mine, and will update the market in due course on the new CEO appointment.”

Mr Day said: “I am very pleased with what we as a team have accomplished during my time as CEO. It has been a privilege to lead and develop the business. The company’s team and board are its greatest asset and I want to express my gratitude for their contribution.”

Scotgold announced last month that it had raised £2 million by issuing shares through a subscription process and open offer.

Shares in Scotgold were unchanged at 14.5p today.