Australian firm ‘free to reopen Chatree gold mine, if it follows the law'
The government has no objections to Kingsgate Consolidated, a parent company of Akara Resources, reopening the Chatree gold mine which straddles the border between Phetchabun and Phichit provinces, but it must be in line with new Mineral Act, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Kreangam said on Wednesday.
His reaction follows Kingsgate Consolidated informing the Australian Securities Exchange that the company has received four mining leases from the Thai government to reopen the Chatree gold mine, which was closed in January 2017.
Wissanu said agencies responsible for this matter can perform their duties in line with their procedures and authority, adding the agencies will report the progress to him and the Cabinet every three months.
He added that irrespective of the dispute between the Thai government and Kingsgate Consolidated, the company can reopen the Chatree gold mine, but they must follow the provisions of the new Minerals Act, including land permission, environment and community.
“The National Council for Peace and Order [formed after the 2014 coup] had ordered the temporary suspension of Kingsgate Consolidated's business as new minerals-related laws had not been framed at that time. It is now up to agencies responsible for the matter to investigate and report to the government periodically,” he said.
He said responsible agencies have to report the progress every three months.
He added that he was not sure whether an arbitration ruling would be made at the end of this month because the previous arbitration ruling in Singapore had been postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis.