Kingsgate gold mine shut down amid health fears

Kingsgate Consolidated has been forced to close its Chatree gold mine in Thailand after orders from the country’s environmental watchdog.

The suspension of operations comes after sampling found high levels of arsenic and manganese in the blood of people living near the operation.

The mine, 280km north of Bangkok, will stay closed for 30 days while the government determines if the mine is responsible for any health hazards.

Kingsgate went into a trading halt after the suspension was handed down.

Company chairman Ross Smyth-Kirk said the company was shocked at the decision 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."


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