And finally…Tiny Aberdeenshire village could be a gold mine -literally

GoldThe Aberdeenshire village of Towie does not even have a shop, but it may soon turn into one of the world’s hottest gold prospects after experts said it could be sitting on top of billions of pounds worth of the precious metal.

According to reports in the local Press and Journal newspaper, Turkish mining giant Koza Altin Isletmeleri has joined forces with a Scottish firm to start prospecting for deposits on the site about 30 miles west of Aberdeen.

Koza, which is controlled by Turkish businessman Hamdi Akin Ipek, is working with Muir of Ord-based GreenOre Gold, which has been working on the site for the last two years.

GreenOre managing director Gavin Berkenheger, a 31-year-old Aberdeen University geology graduate, said the farmland site was part of the same geological “supergroup” as the massive Curraghinalt gold deposit in Northern Ireland.

The Dalradian supergroup – thought to have formed more than 500 million years ago – runs from Northern Ireland in a north-easterly direction up through Aberdeenshire.

A Canadian mining firm, Dalradian Resources, has estimated the gold-laden site in Co Tyrone contains more than 3.5 million ounces of gold that it plans to exploit over the next four years.

The company started drilling in March and expects to create 300 jobs.

The development of a gold mine in Aberdeenshire remains at a “very early stage”, said Mr Berkenheger.

However, he stressed that the Towie site had “enormous potential”.

He said: “It is the same geology as in Northern Ireland.

“This area in Aberdeenshire has all the right hallmarks of a major deposit to be hiding underneath the surface. Aberdeenshire has enormous potential for a major deposit.

“A 3.5million ounce gold deposit is currently being developed by Dalriadan Gold in Northern Ireland. We hope to repeat this success.”

He added that another firm, Scotgold Resources had discovered gold at Tyndrum, which is also part of the same formation.

GreenOre already has a licence from the Crown Estate to search for gold in hills between Rhynie and Aboyne.