A gold mining firm has lodged planning permission to dig eight trenches in the Snowdonia countryside after getting wind of £750m in hidden nuggets.
Gold Mines of Wales (GMOW) have submitted an application to planning chiefs at Snowdonia National Park to dig near the Clogau gold mine, which closed in 1998.
Gold from the Clogau area has been used in wedding bands for Royalty, from Queen Victoria to Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The trenches will be between 130ft-295ft long and nearly 6ft deep – and about 3ft wide.
Bosses at the company, who are calling the plans the “Clogau Strategy”, say they hope to “identify unexploited gold veins within the ‘underground mine network'”.
It is believed there could be as many as 500,000 ounces of gold in the area, and with gold currently selling at just under £1,500-an-ounce, that would be worth £750million.
Plans state that the “commercial potential” is “significant”, adding that previous gold finds in the area yielded “very high grade pods” of gold.
The firm states that it believes there is “real potential to discover unexploited high-grade pods”, adding that Welsh gold attracts a “significant premium” – and that it has already discovered “10 new gold anomalies” in the area, called the Dolgellau Gold Belt.
It also states that the “rally of the price of gold at the start of 2020… can only help with the economics for restarting mining for gold at Clogau”.
It adds: “There is great potential to discover new economic gold resources within the wider Clogau licence area.”
It is the most successful gold mine in the UK, producing more than 130,000 ounces of gold from the early 1880s to when it closed in 1998.
A spokesman for Gold Mines of Wales said last week: “The proposed works would comprise a surface trenching campaign using an excavator.
“All currently proposed trenches lie within areas of farmland and GMOW has discussed the programme of works with the single landowner.
“The purpose of the trenching is to remove the soil cover in the areas of the gold-in-soil anomalies identified with the underlying bedrock being exposed for cleaning, mapping and sampling.
“In total, it is proposed to excavate eight trenches.”
A decision on the plans is set to be made by planning chiefs at Snowdonia National Park in the coming weeks.