Scotland’s first JORC gold resource statement is close

The only Australian exploration company operating in Scotland says it will have by later this month, a JORC compliant gold resource statement for its project near Glasgow. Addressing the final day of the 2008 Paydirt Gold Conference in Perth, recently ASX-listed Scotgold Resources’ Chairman, Shane Sadleir, said the company, having appointed Snowdens in January, was well advanced in preparing the JORC standard estimate for its promising and wholly owned Cononish underground gold project, 90 km northwest from Scotland’s largest city.

“This is an exciting time as Cononish and the region in general, under its previous ownership, has had more than A$15 million spent on it,” Sadleir said. “It has all the hallmarks for early production as an enormous amount of metallurgical work, mine planning and environmental studies have already been completed. The project even attracted bank financing approvals before being shelved by its former owners at a time of low gold prices in the late 1990s. We are focused on developing a JORC-compliant resource at Cononish and are currently scheduling drilling campaigns this year on a number of promising targets.”

Cononish was put on care and maintenance in 2000 when the gold price was a third of the current price and the resource was limited. Sadleir revisited the project two years ago – leading to acquisition of the project in 2006 and this year’s A$4.9 million capital raising and listing on the ASX in January. Cononish, the main gold deposit within the Grampian project area, has a non-JORC compliant resource of 564,600 t grading 10.55 g/t Au and 55 g/t Ag. Sadleir said this equated to just under 200,000 ounces of gold and one million ounces of silver. The limiting factor at that stage was the size of the resource.

“Our priority is to increase the size of the resource around Coronish and also examine nearby targets which are over 2 km long and have never been drilled,” Sadleir said. Spectacular values, up to 257 g/t Au, in boulders were noted at Tom a Chro in Scotgold’s prospectus in November 2007. Since then, the company has identified soil anomalies, in its newly acquired database, which are over 2 km long in association with these high grade boulders.

Sadleir said the Tom a Chro area had never been drilled and is one of Scotgold’s highest priority exploration areas for 2008. “The A$15 million previously spent on the project has given us a tremendous leg-up as a new company, towards getting into production. Time savings alone are something like 10 years in this case.”

Gold mining in Scotland is not new – with documents there referencing local gold mining more than 400 years ago.