First commercial Scottish gold mine expects to make £65m in 10 years.
Scotgold chairman John Bentley said that he is confident he can raise the £25 million needed to set up the Scottish gold mine at Cononish, which is due to start production in early 2014.
The company, which held its AGM in Edinburgh yesterday, has already secured £1.2 million of initial funding from RMB Resources, owned by South African bank FirstRand, and has mandated the company to provide debt finance that could equate to as much as £12 million, according to a report in The Scotsman.
The Cononish mine is expected to produce 5,000 ounces of gold a year and over a 10-year period Scotgold expects the mine to deliver pre-tax cashflow of £65 million.
Bentley said that he has received interest in the gold from 15 to 20 Scottish jewellers and believes that consumers will pay a premium for the ethically produced gold from Scotland.
He told The Scotsman: “In jewellery terms, 5,000 ounces goes a hell of a long way, so the spin-off from this is that the Scottish jewellery industry will be able to create an enormous uplift in work and interest in ethical Scottish gold.”
Scotgold chief executive Chris Sangster and Fifi Bijoux boss Vivien Johnston, who is working as a consultant on the mining project, were named as Pursuit Trailblazers in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers last month for their work on the project.
In an interview for the Hot 100 book Sangster spoke of how 2013 would be defined by the hunt for funding for the mine and Johnston explained that the feedback from the trade had been overwhelmingly positive. She added: “There is a feeling of excitement and anticipation. Basically the feedback from the trade is ‘How soon can I get some?’.”