The town of Moffat in the Southern Uplands lies in the region of Scotland representing the point where Scotland and England came together with the closure of an ancient ocean called the Iapetus.
Much of the Southern Uplands are comprised of Ordovician and Silurian rocks that were once sands and muds deposited on the floor of the Iapetus Ocean. Deposited over a 70 million year period, between 420 and 490 million years ago, these rocks bare testimony to the closure of the Iapetus Ocean, with the coming together of what is now the North American continent and Northern Europe.
The first accounts of gold being recovered in Scotland goes back to 1153 in the reign of David I, for which a title was granted to the monks of Dunfermline Abbey. Near to Moffat lie the the villages of Leadhills and Wanlockhead, which are historically important gold locations. An estimated 30,000 oz of gold was recovered in the 16th Century from the valleys near to these villages.
Most of the water courses running near to Moffat have been found to contain gold and the surrounding hills were being worked for gold at the turn of the 17th Century. The gold found in the local area to Moffat has been deemed to be orogenic. These are gold deposits formed during the metamorphic changes usually associated with the subduction of the oceanic plate.
“Gold Fever” hit Scotland at the end of 1984. Articles in the national press appeared entitled “Going for Gold”, “Ive got a Goldmine”, and “Scotland’s Golden Future”. This was due to a number of national and international companies seeking to obtain licences to prospect for the precious metal.
At present there is further potential prospecting with a company called Scotgold that has recently opened a gold mine near to the village of Tyndrum, which lies to the north of Moffat.