There’s GOLD in them thar hills!
Indeed there is, and it’s also in most of the rivers flowing from the hills.
The hamlet of Clifton (row of Cottages in Tyndrum, just off the A82 opposite the village centre) is named after Sir Robert Clifton who started mining lead commercially in the area in 1730. The scars from the lead workings remain and can still be seen on Sron nan Colan above the village. Even earlier than this, in 1428, silver was mined in Tyndrum in quantities enough for the mine to be denoted a ‘Royal Mine’.
In more recent times, however, the lure is that most desirable of metals, gold. The Dublin based Ennex Corporation started test-drilling for gold in the area in 1985 with some success but, although there was a good deal of exploratory work done, extracting the gold wasn’t economically viable and the mine was never fully operational. However, Ennex have moved on and recently Scotgold Resources Ltd (an Australian mining firm) have had an application approved to re-open and begin commercial mining. They estimate between 20 – 30 thousand ounces of gold could be extracted per annum. giving a big boost to the local economy.
Gold panning in the local rivers
It’s unlikely that you’ll be walking away with ounces of Gold from the local rivers, but recreational panning around Tyndrum is becoming increasingly popular and you never know, someone might strike it lucky!
Contacts for hire and tuition: www.goldpanningsupplies.co.uk