Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd, a subsidiary of Australia-listed Emerald Resources NL, says it has largely weathered the fallout from Covid-19 and is on track to begin extracting gold in the first half of next year.
Renaissance is in the process of developing a gold mine in the Okvau area in Mondulkiri province’s southwestern Keo Seima district.
Renaissance operations manager Bernie Cleary told The Post that the company is importing heavy earthmoving machinery and crushing, milling and gold-extraction equipment for its processing facility.
He said: “This mine is the very first of its kind to be built in Cambodia after many years of exploration. And following rigorous processes, a detailed Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was completed to ensure no net loss to the environment or negative impact on the communities.
“The project obtained full Environmental Permitting from the Ministry of Environment in 2017 and a subsequent Industrial Mining Licence from the Ministry of Mines and Energy in 2018 followed by a Mineral Investment Agreement in late 2019 with the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Economy and Finance.”
In its third quarter financial report, Emerald managing director Morgan Hart said the company continued to advance development activities at the Okvau Gold Project in the period July-September.
He said: “Significant progress [was] made in offsite steel fabrication and key mechanical and electrical components in addition to site infrastructure in line with the project-development timeline.
“The development of the Okvau Gold Mine has been scheduled with regards to the normal seasonal variations in weather. The project development has advanced significantly in line with expectations during the June-October ‘wet season’.
“The balance of construction activities through to commissioning and first gold production will be completed with the added benefit of occurring during the ‘dry season’.
“The exceptional standard our dedicated team are setting in country in relation to suitable protocols to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of staff, contractors and stakeholders during the worldwide challenge of Covid-19, is a key factor to Emerald maintaining our current guidance.”
According to Cleary, the mine will produce “approximately 106,000 ounces of gold per annum on average over seven-plus years from a single open pit”, with taxes and royalties payable to the government.
He said: “Renaissance is proud to not only be building Cambodia’s first large scale mine but also leading the way in establishing a mining industry in Cambodia that we can all be proud of.”
According to the report, the Okvau fully-funded $98 million Gold Mine Development continues “on time, on budget”, with consolidated cash to the tune of about A$109 million (US$82 million) as of September 30.
It said: “Emerald remains fully funded to develop the Okvau Gold Project with additional contingency.”