By Scotland Business
A Scottish mine is expected to produce gold for the first time following the launch of an ore processing trial.
Mining firm Scotgold Resources is crushing 2,400 tonnes of ore which has been stockpiled at Cononish near Tyndrum in central Scotland.
It is targeting "first pour" production of between 400 and 600 ounces of gold during the initial six-month trial.
About 100 ounces (almost 3kg) of that will be sent to jewellers to test the market for Scottish gold.
Australia-based Scotgold is hopeful that the gold's rarity may command a premium price.
A small-scale pilot plant has already started processing material at the site after permission was granted by the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority earlier this year.
The mining firm said the trial represented "a significant milestone" for the company as it seeks to persuade potential investors to back larger-scale production at Cononish.
The trial will also provide a basis for a review of the mine's development plan.
The company has estimated that several tonnes of gold could be extracted from Cononish.