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Gold processing to begin next year

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:
A man holds gold after refinning it. Reuters

Following the recent approval of its environment and social impact assessment by the Ministry of Environment, the kingdom’s first gold-processing plant will begin operations next year, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Mines and Energy said on Monday.

The new factory will be built by Indian mining firm Mesco Gold, which was granted the first commercial mining licence in Cambodia in September last year for its Phum Syarung gold mine in Ratanakkiri province.

“The company already submitted a feasibility study to the ministry and it has been approved,” said Yos Monirath, spokesman for the Ministry of Mines. “Now it is time for them to start processing the mineral.”

“They will start their factory sometime during the first or second quarter of the coming year,” said Mr Monirath.

He said the new facility will be a medium-sized plant, but did not specify its exact capacity.

Mesco Gold purchased the rights to develop the Phum Syarung gold mine from Canadian exploration company Angkor Gold Corp. in 2013 for $1.9 million. Angkor Gold also negotiated a net smelter agreement of between two and 7.5 percent to receive a share of any gold extracted.

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