Staff at Scotland’s only goldmine have been placed on unpaid leave amid financial crisis talks.
Scotgold Resources, which has operations at Cononish in the Trossachs, say they are in advanced financing discussions in a bid to save funds and retain “key trained staff”.
However, a majority of employees, understood to be around 85 people, at the site have been put on unpaid leave while discussions are ongoing.
The board said it hopes to be in a position to repay a creditor who has recently taken action to recover funds owed.
The company said: “Should matters not be successfully resolved this could reduce the timescale to achieve a funding solution and necessitate an administration appointment, which of course it is hoped can be avoided.”
The firm confirmed on Friday that it had initiated discussions with an administration specialist as a precautionary measure should it fail to secure financing to continue operating.
A spokesperson for Scotgold said: “The Company has placed the majority of its employees on short term unpaid leave until further notice, allowing the Company time to advance the financing discussions and preserve funds to help retain some key trained staff members across mining and plant and maintenance”.
Earlier this month, the firm suspended trading of its shares on London’s Alternative Investment Market.
Scotgold Resources has been developing mining work at the country’s first commercial goldmine since 2007.
In 2020, gold was poured at the site with the company aiming for an annual rate of ore production of 36,000 tonnes and total gold production of 9910 in 2021.
In its latest annual report, Scotgold declared “ambitious growth plans to continue to increase headcount during 2023”.
Popular jewellery brands Hamilton & Inches and Sheila Fleet were announced as the only two brands to be authorised to use Scottish Gold from Cononish in 2017.
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