Indian-owned Mesco Gold (Cambodia) has shown a potential for gold refinery investment in a licensed area in Ratanakiri province’s Oyadav district, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, citing that the firm is building some significant infrastructure.
The move came after the company halted works on its processing plant installation at its Phum Syarung gold mine in Ratanakiri’s Yatung commune in March 2020 because of import issues caused by the pandemic.
Progress of the infrastructure development in the licensed area has been made, said Eung Dipola, director-general of Mines at the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
“According to the report, the company has evaluated that the amount of mine resources is sufficient for the establishment of a gold refinery plant,” Dipola said.
Mesco Gold purchased the rights to develop and mine the Phum Syarung prospect from Canadian-listed exploration firm Angkor Gold in 2013 as part of a $1.2 million deal.
The company was granted a commercial licence in 2016.
The ministry said previously the company had internal issues behind the lack of progress beside the Covid-19 pandemic, which imposed strict travel conditions on experts within the company.
Mesco Gold holds a mine industry licence on the surface of 12 square kilometres. But the company has rights to undertake mine operations on the surface of just 1 square kilometre.
For the rest, the company has rights to conduct a research and economic feasibility study on mine production in the future, according to the ministry.
“As of now, the company has prepared and built the main infrastructure, but it has yet to reach the stage of gold refinery because the company has to prepare a report on the environment and social impact assessment,” Dipola said.
The positive progress for Mesco Gold came after Renaissance Minerals started gold refinery production in a licensed area in Keo Seima district, Mondulkiri province. As of Sept 27, Renaissance Minerals refined 48 pieces of gold ore, weighing approximately 555 kilogrammes, in three months in from an operation in the O’Khvav area, Keo Seima district, Mondulkiri province.
Of the gold ores mined, the firm exported 34, approximately 355 kilogrammes, to Australia for 99.99 percent purification.
“Gold refinery production of the company has been proceeding as planned,” Dipola said.
Renaissance Minerals officially started its gold mine operation and refinery in O’Khvav area on June 21. The capacity of the gold refinery is estimated at three tonnes of ore a year – about 250 kilogrammes per month.
Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd just received a mine exploration licence for more than 107 square kilometres in Memot district, Tboung Khmum province.
At the moment, the firm is working with location authorities to demarcate the licensed area.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.