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Sand operation at the Whitehill Estate


We grant leases to commercial mineral operators to exploit minerals found on our four rural estates (operators require to obtain planning approval for their activity). We aim to balance generating an income from these assets with making sure they are managed responsibly.

In addition, we manage the rights to naturally occurring gold and silver (known as Mines Royal) across most of Scotland. In a few specific areas these rights have been granted away (see map).

We encourage proposals for commercial exploration and development, providing they meet statutory requirements and high environmental standards. 

Commercial development requires a lease of the Mines Royal as well as access to land. So if we do not hold the land in question, we do not have the power to grant access, this lies with the landowner. If you would like to find out more please see the map of current options and leases and the option process document below.

Responsible commercial applicants can secure a lease option which can be exercised if a viable deposit of gold or silver is found and planning permission is obtained to mine it. This option gives the exploration company reassurance that mining the deposit can proceed if all the other legal and financial criteria are met. 

Find out more: 
  • For general queries regarding mineral operations please contact our agents Wardell Armstrong on 0191 232 0943
  • If you have a Mines Royal specific query, please email

Mines Royal information