Kingsgate to axe workers at Chatree gold mine

Kingsgate’s Chatree gold mine in Thailand will cease operations from January 1 2017, despite the new mineral bill allowing legal operation of mines in the country.

More than 1000 workers will be sacked from the operations, according to The Bangkok Post.

Earlier this year the Thai government ordered the suspension of all gold mines from January 1 following concerns about potential health and environmental problems.

Kingsgate, along with partner Akara Resources, denied these claims.

Chatree’s mining licence expires on December 31, but the company held a concession to continue operations until 2028.

Last week the Thai Government passed a bill allowing mining with less regulatory restrictions, however Kingsgate said they needed a solid guarantee they would be allowed to continue operations without being disrupted.

Kingsgate chairman Ross Smyth-Kirk told The Associated Press, “We’d need an ironclad guarantee of tenure.”

“It’s been a disgrace. There’s still a lot of gold there still to be taken out, needing expertise of people like ourselves who are prepared to spend big investments to get it out.”

On Tuesday Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is also the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), issued an order for the suspension of all gold mines which also prevents the issuing and renewal of gold mine exploration and concession licenses.

Kingsgate now has plans to develop a new mine in Chile.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.