Thailand lifts ban on Kingsgate Consolidated’s Chatree Mine
The Thai Government has lifted the ‘temporary suspension’ of the Chatree Mine, which is operated by Akara Resources Public Company, a subsidiary of Kingsgate Consolidated.
Following the move, representatives of Kingsgate held negotiations with officials of the Royal Thai Government to reach a possible settlement of its claims against the government in accordance with the Australia-Thailand free trade agreement (TAFTA).
The ban was imposed in December last year by the military government under Section 44, resulting in more than 1,000 job cuts, according to the Bangkok Post.
The company has now been cleared to apply for a renewed metallurgical processing licence after its expiry.
In 2015, random medical tests conducted by the government revealed arsenic and manganese levels beyond acceptable norms in people residing close to the project area, according to MINING.com.
As a result, a 44-day suspension of operations at the mine was ordered.
It has been found that Kingsgate will not receive any monetary compensation from the Thai Government for the losses incurred by the company following the mining ban.
Kingsgate further noted that the government would not reimburse expenses needed for restarting operations at Chatree.
However, based on the negotiations and settlement process underway, the company is expecting that the government might consider giving other incentives in order to offset the losses resulting from the closure of the mine.
Kingsgate plans to continue to pursue the settlement of claims along with several other unresolved issues.
Located around 280km north of Bangkok, the open pit Chatree gold mine started operations in 2001.
To date, the mine produced an excess of 1.8 million ounces of gold and more than ten million ounces of silver.