Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd has produced 137kg dore bars with 90 per cent gold solution, in just over a month since it kicked off commercial operations of its flagship gold mine in northeastern Cambodia’s Mondulkiri province, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen on August 1.
The prime minister was speaking at the launch of the vaccination campaign for 12-17-year-olds at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh.
Hun Sen voiced optimism for the revenue contributions that would likely be delivered by the Okvau Gold Project, which as he pointed out, is on land granted to the company in a concession agreement with the government.
“At just a mere month into operations, we’ve been able to extract the equivalent of about 137kg of dore bars containing 90 per cent gold – this will generate quite the revenue for us,” he said.
Renaissance on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million project, located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri’s Keo Seima district.
Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem, who presided over the inauguration ceremony, said the facility had started processing ore from the mine, casting gold alloy bars and stamping its first dore bar on June 21. Construction of the plant and key infrastructure for the site began in mid-2020, he noted.
“The gold mining site and processing plant have the capacity to process nearly two million tonnes [of ore] a year,” he said.
Reportedly able to produce dore bars containing 90 per cent gold, Renaissance’s operation will be in compliance with recognised international standards.
An earlier report outlined an initial Life of Mine (LOM) of eight years, with an average of three tonnes of gold produced each year.
According to Sem, the gold mining business will employ 462 workers – 427 Cambodians and 35 foreigners. All mineral resource operations at the site will be carried out in accordance with international standards concerning environmental protection and delivering social benefits to local communities.
He added that the project will be closely monitored by multilateral oversight and governance mechanisms to ensure that socio-economic and environmental goals are achieved, in accordance with plans set by the Ministry of Environment.
“This achievement has brought an influx of foreign investment in Cambodia, creating employment and economic opportunities, reinforcing the diversification of local industries, and providing many other socio-economic benefits for Cambodia,” Sem said, underlining that the project would create additional revenue sources for the national budget.
Morgan Hart, managing director at Australia-listed Emerald Resources NL, the parent company of Renaissance, previously told The Post that the inaugural ore feed and commencement of wet commissioning of the project was “a significant milestone for the company and represents the exceptional efforts by our experienced construction and development team with cooperation from our quality contractors and global supplier”.
Cambodia expects the project to generate $185 million per annum in pre-tax cashflow, with $40 million from royalties and taxes transferred to the national budget, according to the prime minister.
On the Australian Stock Exchange, Emerald’s share price, trading under the ticker symbol “EMR”, fell A$0.01 (0.74 US cents) or 1.11 per cent to close at A$0.89 ($0.65) on August 2 for a market capitalisation of A$458.70 million, with 127,642 shares traded.