Gold has been poured at Scotland’s first commercial goldmine.
The milestone happened on Monday at Scotgold Resources Cononish gold and silver mine near Stirling.
Production is planned to be ramped up in the new year, and it is hoped an annual rate of ore production of 36,000 tonnes and total gold production of 9910 ounces can be achieved in 2021.
The company said it is now focused on completing an accelerated expansion plan to increase production at the mine to 23,500 ounces a year.
The current first phase is targeting an annual rate of ore production of 36,000 tonnes and total gold production of 9910 ounces in 2021.
Phase two will focus on doubling the annual rate of ore production to 72,000 tonnes and more than doubling average annual gold production to 23,500 ounces.
The company is fully funded to achieve phase two expansion by May 2022, 17 months from the start of phase one production.
Richard Gray, Scotgold chief executive, said: “Our first gold pour is not only a significant milestone in the development of our Cononish gold and silver project but a milestone on the road to a Scottish gold mining industry.
“Today’s news is therefore a landmark event both for the company and for Scotland.
“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the work of the Scotgold team both at the operational and managerial levels.
“All our personnel have worked tirelessly to make this happen in the face of unprecedented challenges caused not least by the ongoing pandemic and associated restrictions.
“I would also like to thank our shareholders, contractors, advisers, regulatory agencies, the Scottish Government and all stakeholders in the project for their support throughout this journey.”