Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd, a subsidiary of Australia-listed Emerald Resources NL, is set to become the first large-scale mining operation in the Kingdom, Ministry of Mines and Energy official Yos Monirath said on Thursday.
He told The Post that after more than a decade of on-site exploration in Mondulkiri province, the company announced it will begin extracting gold next year.
Monirath, who is director-general of the ministry’s General Department of Mineral Resources, said the gold will be exported and processed into 99.99 per cent pure gold for sale on the market.
“The gold the company extracts can only be processed into raw gold bars here. It must be exported because we are not able to process it into 99.99 per cent purity,” he said.
Renaissance Minerals is currently building a processing plant capable of producing 2.8 million tonnes of raw gold bars per annum, an annual ministry report said on Tuesday.
Finnish-listed mining technology company Outotec Oyj was awarded a contract by Renaissance Minerals to deliver processing equipment to the greenfield Okvau Gold Project in the province’s Keo Seima district.
Project commissioning is expected in the second quarter of next year, Outotec said in a press release on Wednesday.
“We are pleased to be part of Cambodia’s first significant gold processing project with Emerald’s highly credentialed gold project development team.
“Outotec’s leading technologies such as energy efficient ultrafine grinding, proven flotation technology for low grade sulphide ore and superior thickening technology, enable our customer to do profitable business sustainably.
“This order will strengthen Outotec’s position as a supplier of advanced minerals processing technologies in Southeast Asia,” the release quoted Outotec’s Minerals Processing business unit acting president Paul Sohlberg as saying.
In November, Emerald Resources managing director Morgan Hart said Renaissance Minerals is in the process of developing a gold mine in the Okvau area in Mondulkiri province.
“We are pleased to cooperate with all parties, as we are in the process of developing the project, which is designed to be one of the largest and most modern gold mining projects in Cambodia.
“We will set a standard for responsible mineral development in Cambodia that everyone is proud of,” he said.
Monirath said the government granted the company an industrial mining licence in July, which covers 11.5sq km at the Okvau Gold Project.
The licence is valid for 15 years and can be extended for 10 more years twice, he said. The ministry has issued such licenses to some 37 companies, which are exploring in four provinces – Mondulkiri, Ratanakkiri, Kratie and Stung Treng.