The spirits of two "lost" Scotch whisky distilleries are being brought back into production to take advantage of the growth in single malt sales.

Drinks giant Diageo said it will invest £35m ($46m) in malt whisky facilities in Brora, Sutherland, and Port Ellen on Islay, 34 years after they were first closed.

Both brands have since become highly sought after whiskies, after production stopped in 1983 during a lull in the popularity of the spirit.

A 37-year-old bottle of Port Ellen whisky currently sells for around £2,625, while a 44-year old bottle of Brora whisky sold at auction for £14,534 in May this year – more than twice the reserve price.

Diageo said it would seek to replicate, where possible, the distillation regimes and spirit character of the original distilleries.

Both brands will have a total capacity of about 800,000 litres of alcohol per year – less than half the usual scale for malt production, and less a tenth of the biggest malt distilleries.

Cask filling and traditional warehousing will also be included on the sites of both distilleries, as well as visitor centres. Production is scheduled to start in 2020.

The group said the move "is partly a response to demands from existing enthusiasts but it also reflects the strong growth in the single malt Scotch market".

Last year, the value of single malt Scotch exports crossed £1bn for the first time, with sales of 67 million bottles compared with 47 million bottles in 2002, according to industry group the Scotch Whisky Association.

David Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland, said the plan would create jobs in some of the country's "most remote communities".

He added: "These ambitious new developments will create jobs, boost tourism and produce premium products to be exported around the world."

Nick Morgan, head of whisky outreach at Diageo, called the move a "truly exceptional moment in Scotch whisky".

Morgan added: "Only a very few people will ever be able to try the original Port Ellen and Brora single malts as they become increasingly rare, so we are thrilled that we will now be able to produce new expressions of these whiskies for new generations of people."