THE company developing a Scottish gold mine has hailed “record-breaking” production levels in December.

Scotgold Resources saw the Cononish gold mine near Tyndrum exceed the previous all-time high monthly figure by around 60%.

The firm said its production in the fourth quarter of 2021 totalled 1508 ounces of gold.

Scotgold is targeting a run rate for gold production of around 23,500 ounces per annum by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

At the mine, there was a record 101 tonnes of concentrate produced in December, equating to approximately 700 ounces of contained gold – an increase of around 60% on the previous best monthly concentrate production.

It comes after November production was hit by “Covid-related supply of explosives for the mine”, with that ore extraction now returning to be in line with the original plan.

Chief executive Phil Day said it had “taken hard work, dedication, extensive planning and committed teamwork to transform mining operations during the past nine months since I joined as CEO”.

He added: “I’m delighted to report on our record-breaking gold concentrate production in December 2021, which saw a [circa] 60% increase in production from our previous record month. Our 2021 initiatives to increase production efficiencies and ramp up production are working.”

Looking ahead, the company said that, with the implementation of its phase two expansion stage, expected to start by the first quarter of 2023, the current life of the mine stands at eight-and-a-half years.

However, it added: “The company believes there is significant potential to increase the resource at Cononish, with corresponding increase of life of mine.

“There are several areas within the Cononish resource that have not yet been adequately tested but are capable of hosting mineable high-grade pods.”