Evolving the genetic model for the Cononish Au deposit: from prospect to mine

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: Scottish Universities Environ Res Centre


This project is a unique and timely opportunity to undertake leading-edge research with our CASE Partner, the gold mining and exploration company, Scotgold Resources Limited, to define the fundamental controls that form and locate gold mineralization in the Cononish gold deposit (Figure 1). Cononish is about to become Scotland's first ever significant gold mine, and one of only two active British metal mines. On June 15th, 2016, the first significant gold extraction in Scotland began on the existing stockpile at Cononish to optimize processing technology and explore market conditions for Scottish gold. Planning permission is in place for fullscale mining, subject to financing, with market conditions currently positive for extraction of reserves of ~200koz Au (value in ground >£200M) and ~850koz Ag (~£13M). The research programme planned for the project centres on the existing, fully exposed 1km adit, and extensive drillcore. The student will be involved in developing a new 3-D digital geological map and framework for the mine, and, through microtextural, structural, isotopic (S, O, H, C and O, and U-Pb and Ar/Ar dating) and lithogeochemical analyses, will significantly evolve our genetic understanding of the deposit and directly inform mine development and processing methodology, maximizing gold (and co-products: e.g. Ag, Te) recovery and minimizing waste and environmental impact through in-depth understanding of the mineralogical and geochemical anatomy of the host rock, ore and likely waste streams.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/R012253/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2022
2371904 Studentship NE/R012253/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Calum Lyell