Going for gold with Scotland's first commercial gold mine

Project impact

200 pieces of media coverage

40 million audience reach

Silver award CIPR PRide and Excellence Award


“The actions of Orbit Communications were absolutely fundamental to us getting planning approval and we cannot commend them highly enough.”

– Chris Sangster, Scotgold

Orbit Communications worked with mineral exploration company, Scotgold Resources, to support the delivery of planning permission for Scotland’s first commercial gold mine, situated at Cononish near Tyndrum.

This was the first gold mine in Scotland for more than 500 years and it was estimated that more than 50 full time jobs would be created.

Before we were involved a prior planning application by Scotgold for the development of the mine had been rejected by the Board of the planning authority, the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

We undertook a proactive public affairs campaign, supported by media relations. This aimed to promote the key benefits of the mine and address the negatives which had arisen from the previous application, such as perceived environmental impacts and over-estimated economic benefits.

Delivering a coalition of stakeholder support for the project was a key aspect of this strategy, delivering third party endorsements. At a national level this included major economic and tourism bodies, as well as key politicians and the local community.

We also worked with an independent economics expert to deliver robust economic impact figures as those previously produced by Scotgold had been questioned.

In addition we worked with a training body, Edutrain, to develop an apprenticeship programme for the site.

The campaign delivered not just Scottish and UK coverage, but considerable international coverage, with over 200 pieces of coverage in total, all positive, delivering over 40 million opportunities to see. This included the BBC, ITV and The Times and also internationally, including the Sydney Morning Herald and BBC World Service.

From being previously rejected the gold mine application was unanimously approved by the Park Board the economic benefits outweighed potential environmental concerns.