Gold Town: Scots who struck lucky urge others to explore their land: ‘Sitting on gold!’
Gold Town: BBC Scotland releases trailer for series
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For 35 years, the Burton family has had empty promise after empty promise of gold being found beneath their land in Cononich, near Tyndrum. Things remained the same until recently, when Davy Burton, a senior maintenance supervisor for Scotgold, along with a team, four months ago mined the first batch of the precious metal. He’s hopeful that there’s more where that came from.
His and his family’s journey has been documented by a team from the BBC, in the series ‘Gold Town’.
Mr Davy said: “There might be a huge mine we’re sitting on we just don’t know about — but unless the company spends money and looks you’ll never find out.
“If this goes well and the company starts making some decent money, then they can put some away for exploration and you wouldn’t know what you’ll find.
“Any estates and farms on the ground that lies on the Dalradian rock structure could be sitting on gold that they have no idea about.
“It costs so much money to do the exploration work that there’s not been a huge amount done.
“When they start making some money on the mine here they will put some money aside for exploration and I think that is when we’ll find there’s other pockets of gold in the area.
“This can’t just be a one-off or lucky find. There must be more gold in other areas.”
The discovery promises to transform the location into a haven of wealth.
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BBC Scotland’s Gold Town charts the amazing journey and unlikely moment that the gold was first found and poured over on November 30, 2020.
It also features the struggles the Burtons came up against in the process.
He admitted that he is more than relieved that geologists finally found what he and his family had for decades been looking for.
When a freelance geologist first knocked on the door, they didn’t believe him when he said they were sitting on a heap of riches.
Mr Burton’s father, John, had always supported the efforts.
However, after several companies walked away due to financial and logistical challenges, confidence that the efforts would ever come to anything quickly fizzled out.
After Scotgold took over in 2007, Mr Burton joined them three years later.
With him onboard, it’s been one breakthrough after another.
On the most northern extremity of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, a quartz vein was unearthed inside Beinn Chuirn.
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It contains gold estimated to be worth £200million.
By next year, Scotgold hopes the Rhine will produce 23,500oz of gold annually.
Mr Burton made wedding rings for himself and wife Nicola from the first Scottish white gold during a processing trial.
However, his family don’t own the precious metals.
They instead belong to the Crown.
As a result, they currently make their money by renting their land to the people doing the mining.
Joking that luck had not befallen his family, Mr Burton said he would be more than happy to help other families who find sought after metals, gases or oils on their lands.
He said: “I’m sure if it was a different type of metal or oil or gas or something like that it would have been a bit better but unlucky for us it was gold and silver.
“I could give them some advice. I can be a consultant.”
Jason Saint, Group Operations Manager, said: “According to the geologists – who are always very excited about what they’re finding up here – we’re quite optimistic we will get some positive results out of our exploration programme as we tick along over the course of this year and next year.
“Our exploration team has been on the ground for a couple of years so we’re continuing to increase our knowledge of other potential areas to develop.
“It is a long road to validate that there is gold in the ground but the signs are there.”
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