Chatree gold mine to remain closed

Kingsgate Consolidated has been forced to keep its Chatree gold mine in Thailand closed.

The mine was suspended from operating in mid-January after orders from the country’s environmental watchdog.

Kingsgate was ordered to close the mine after sampling found high levels of arsenic and manganese in the blood of people living near the operation.

The mine, 280km north of Bangkok, was to close for 30 days while the government conducted testing.

However, a further 45 days has been served while Kingsgate responds to additional information from the Thai authorities.

 “As a result, considerable uncertainty still remains with respect to the structure and timing of any restart,” the company said.

Kingsgate chairman Ross Smyth-Kirk has previously said the company was shocked at the decision to close Chatree because it does not use either arsenic or manganese at the site.

"We are shocked and amazed at the temporary suspension order at the Chatree Mining Complex, situated in central Thailand which is internationally recognised as one of the safest gold mines in the world," Smyth-Kirk said in a statement.

"It is important to note that arsenic and manganese are not used or stored at the Chatree Mining operation now or at any time in its history.

"We are calling for a speedy resolution as there are 1100 jobs at the mine which are in jeopardy. Loss of these jobs would have adverse flow on effects to the local communities."

Shares in Kingsgate have been suspended since the mine was shut.

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