A gold rush could be sparked in Wales after experts discovered potential sites in a 20-mile stretch of hills.
Officials at Alba Mineral Resources mineral company are also seeking to reopen the area’s last mine.
Their experts are researching soil across a 20-mile ‘gold belt’, in hopes of restarting gold mining in the region – 30 years after it ceased production.
The final remaining gold mine in the area closed down in 1989, as extraction began to cost more than the gold being produced.
But now, with gold trading about five times higher than 20 years ago, Alba Mineral Resources are hoping to restart gold mining in North Wales. Pictured: An open gold pit in Romania
But now, with gold trading about five times higher than 20 years ago, Alba Mineral Resources are hoping to restart gold mining in North Wales.
And the company is currently researching just one of a whopping 300 old mine sites said to be located across the 20-mile Dolgellau gold belt in Gwynedd.
The company has acquired a 90 per cent stake in Gold Mines of Wales, which has permission from the Crown to mine in the area as they search for new sites.
Alba’s technical director Howard Baker confirmed that a survey had been completed at the site of the Clogau St David’s gold mine, which closed down in 1989.
He said: ‘We have just completed the first geochemical soil sampling programme over the Clogau St David’s mine area. We have identified the potential of new areas that warrant further exploration.
‘The work we are doing is quite groundbreaking for the Dolgellau gold belt. No modern day exploration has taken place.’
The area was once the focus of a gold rush, with mining dating back as far as Roman times during their occupation of Britain.
The custom of using Welsh gold for royal wedding rings was started by the Queen Mother in 1923 and has been used by royal brides ever since.
And Welsh gold jewellery firm Colgau, whose founders once owned Clogau St David’s mine are ‘very keen’ for mining to restart there.
Managing director Ben Roberts recalls accompanying his father Bill into Clogau St David’s as a boy, to learn about the family’s gold mine.
His father bought the closed mine with a view to turning it inot a tourist attraction.
But when that fell through, he turned to small-scale mining, and began producing the Welsh gold that is still used by the family jewellery business to this day.
The custom of using Welsh gold for royal wedding rings was started by the Queen Mother in 1923 and has been used by royal brides ever since
Mr Roberts said: ‘We are very keen to do the same with Gwynfynydd [the mine the family still own].’
But he admits any plans for the former mine could take years to come to fruition.
Alba boss George Frangeskides said: ‘This is a two-pronged process we are engaged in. One is trying to bring the Clogau gold mine… back into production.
‘And, at the same time… we are looking at the regional gold exploration of the Dolgellau gold belt.’
The next stage will be to submit an application to the planning authority, he added.