In February 2018, Australian mining company Scotgold Resources Ltd, received approval for its Cononish Gold and Silver mining project; an undertaking for reviving the derelict gold and silver mine in Glen Cononish some 50 miles away from Glasgow.
Actually, approval granted by the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority Board was for the second application. The first application required amendments to the original mining proposal submitted by Scotgold Resources. The Australian company acquired the derelict mine in 2007, while the original application had been turned down due to concerns over size and the potential impact of the planned restoration activities on the West Highlands of Scotland.
The opposition for the original application was in allowing a full-scale industrialisation plan that would result to millions of tonnes of waste being deposited in the glen. There were also concerns about the visual impact that the mine will create in the heart of the wild area, to where most people trek just to get away from it all.
The Cononish Gold and Silver Mining Project at Loch Lomond
The approval for the mining site was received by SGZ Cononish Ltd, a subsidiary incorporated by Scotgold Resources Ltd in June 2017. The subsidiary company undertook to complete the commitments and planning obligations stipulated as conditions to the approval of the 5-option contract entered with the Crown Estate.
The company also received an offer from the Scottish Enterprise for a Regional Selective Assistance Grant that will see to the development of the Cononish region. Granting of a £430,000 funding is conditional, subject to the mining company’s commitment to invest £8.6 million as capital expenditure on the first phase of operation, and for the full-time employment of 36 staff.
The 5-option agreement covers a vast area of nearly 4000 km2, mainly in locations outside of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The company has already submitted applications for the options as they will be available up to four years, and at the same time subject to a two-yearly review process to determine satisfactory performance by the Australian mining subsidiary.