11 July 2024

Kingsgate Consolidated Limited of Australia and the Thai government have agreed to change the location of the arbitration hearings over the closure of gold mine operations in Thailand, from Hong Kong to Singapore, due to the intensifying protests in the Chinese territory.

According to a statement, issued yesterday by Akara Resources Plc, the Thai subsidiary of Australian mining company Kingsgate Consolidated Limited, has closely monitored the protests in Hong Kong, which have, of late, become more violent, and has consulted the Thai government, with both sides agreeing to ask the arbitration panel to relocate the process to Singapore.

In the statement, Kingsgate Consolidated said it is concerned over the safety of its staff members.

Kingsgate CEO Ross Smyth-Kirk reportedly said, however, that the change of location will not affect the company’s case, visa-vis the Thai government.

He also reaffirmed the company’s willingness to cooperate with the Thai government to work out a solution acceptable by both parties.

Akara Resources operated the Chatree gold mines in Phichit and Phetchabun provinces.  The operations were suspended in late 2016 by order of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, invoking Section 44 of the interim constitution, on the grounds that its activities were harmful to the environment and the health of the people living around the mine.

Kingsgate has consistently disputed the claim that their activities threatened the ground water, the rice fields or the people and entered an arbitration process with the Thai government, under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement, to seek a settlement to the dispute.