A company hunting for gold in rural parts of Scotland is looking for investors to back a £600,000 crowdfunding drive to take forward its plans for a site in Wester Ross.
GreenOre Gold – led by Aberdeen University geology graduate Gavin Berkenheger – has big hopes for the historic Kerry Road deposit, near Gairloch.
Its exploration portfolio also includes sites in Aberdeenshire, Ayrshire and an area near Loch Tay.
Exploration drilling at Kerry Road in the 1970s and 80s found traces of gold, copper and zinc, but the site was abandoned due to low metal prices.
However, a reassessment of the deposit by GreenOre has concluded it is of economic interest and the surrounding area is “ripe for further discoveries”.
The gold resource is “far bigger” than just the Kerry Road deposit, the company says in its appeal for investors.
London-based GreenOre needs the funding to start “confirmatory” drilling and a resource calculation, with metallurgical test work of the ore and “pre-feasibility” studies to follow.
The company boasts a “proven track record of economic discovery and development”.
Having so far failed to find the grades of gold it was hoping for at Towie, in Aberdeenshire, it has recently been focused on exploration drilling at its Ayrshire site.
Mr Berkenheger, GreenOre’s Muir of Ord-based managing director, said the Covid-19 crisis had hit the firm’s fundraising plans.
He added: “We were hoping to raise £600,000 by the end of this month but the coronavirus has spooked the market completely.”
Mineral investment and development company Minexia and its NR Private Market technology platform were enlisted to help GreenOre secure crowdfunding.
Minexia technical evaluation director Drew Craig, a “born and bred” Aberdonian who had a spell in the oil and gas industry after geology studies at St Andrews University and Imperial College London, said financing was not easy for mineral exploration and development firms at the best of times.
They had to compete for cash with “thousands of companies across dozens of industry sectors”, he said, adding: “There are hundreds of listed resource stocks, let alone the innumerable unlisted ventures, such as GreenOre Gold. All are vying for the attention of a limited pool of sophisticated and market-informed investors.”
Meanwhile, Mr Berkenheger said GreenOre was involved in discussions with the local authority over reopening the “corkscrew” road to its Wester Ross site.