LISTEN: Aiden Lavelle explains how gold prospecting works
A gold mining company believes that a site by Loch Tay ‘has the potential to make it all the way’ as one of Scotland’s next gold mines.
The team are carrying out studies in the area to determine the scale of the site laying beneath the surface.
Chief executive of Erris Gold and Resources, Aiden Lavelle, said: “So we have this project called the Loch Tay project and it’s a 237 square kilometre licensed area. And there’s several historic workings and prospects and targets within that large license area. And to the south of Loch Tay in one of the valleys there, we found quite a substantial golden prospect.”
Finding the site took a combination of geological research and clues from looking back at historic prospecting from back in the 1700s.
Mr Lavelle added: “I think in the late 1700s some old prospectors had dug out a few veins, looking for a silver associated with galena, which is a lead sulphide. And, you know, when you find places like that, that sort of proved that there is a mineralization there.
“So, we’re always interested to see historic workings and old mines because at least you know there’s something in the bedrock in those areas. And we often focus around those to develop our, our modern targets.”
Once the excavation can take place, once the team are satisfied with the site, funding is set and the license is happy, Mr Lavelle expects the mining to make a minimal impact on the environment.
He added: “So modern mining for gold say in a country like Scotland would be an underground, narrow vein mining. So it’s very similar to what Scott Gold are doing at Cononish. And I suppose Scottish people would know about the new gold mine at Cononish which entered production in November, 2020. And that’s a small gold mine and actually that got permitted, even though it’s in a national park, because it has a small surface footprint and they’re taking out fairly small toneage about high grade.”