By JASON RUSSELL and PETER HENRIKSENBORNBORNBRISTOL, United Kingdom — Bristol Gold Ltd., the UK’s biggest gold mine, is using the same design as its flagship Black Hole mine to mine for gold, a development that has critics arguing it’s unworkable.
The Bristol Gold mine is one of Britain’s largest and most successful mines, and has seen production of more than 1.6 million ounces of gold in the past decade, nearly three times its production in 2005.
The company says the design for the Black Hole project is “unfacial and non-descript” and that the project will “help us to meet the high standards set by the Gold Council of Australia” in 2018.
“It is an ambitious project with a large mine and a very different layout to our Black Hole,” Bristol said in a statement.
“It will take some time for us to get this project finished, but the result will be a much better mining experience for all.”
But critics have been divided about the project.
A spokesman for the Bristol Gold Group said the design of the mine was “unnecessary” and the company’s “design is still evolving.”
Bristol said the new design would “improve the site’s aesthetic” while the Bristol Group, which owns the Black Mine, said it was “enthusiastic about it.”
A spokesperson for the mining company said the company would “continue to make decisions that are best for Bristol and its customers.”
In addition to its own Black Hole gold mine in Australia, Bristol also has plans to open another gold mine near its existing site in Bristol, and is currently considering building an additional mine near the town of Waddesdon, where the Bristol Mine was built.
The mine has been in operation since 1997 and is one-fifth of the company the Gold Association said had the largest gold reserves in the world.
Bristols statement did not address the Gold Australia criticism, and the mining group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.