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Kingsgate Consolidated (ASX:KCN) - Executive Chairman, Ross Smyth Kirk - The Market Herald
Executive Chairman, Ross Smyth Kirk
Source: The Australian
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  • Kingsgate’s (KCN) legal feud with the Government of Thailand is back under the spotlight, after regional media revealed developments in an ongoing anti-corruption probe
  • Kingsgate began seeking legal action in 2016, when the Thai Government shut down operations at the Chatree gold mine, which was operated by the company’s subsidiary Akara Resources
  • Kingsgate has stated that recent dialogue with the government has been positive, and both parties are currently awaiting the ruling of an independent arbitral tribunal
  • However, Thai media recently resurrected old allegations against Kingsgate, which were first brought to light by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in 2011
  • At the time, ASIC was investigating allegations that Kingsgate bribed Thai state officials to gain access to key gold mining concessions in the region
  • Media outlets are now claiming the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has received new documents relating to the bribery allegations, but these claims remain disputed
  • As ASIC dropped its investigation back in 2014, Kingsgate considers the matter closed and is categorically refuting the renewed claims brought forth by NACC and the Thai media
  • Kingsgate closed 4.27 per cent in the red for 78 cents per share

Kingsgate’s (KCN) legal feud with the Thai Government is back in the spotlight, after local media revealed developments in an ongoing anti-corruption probe.

Tensions between the two parties first arose in 2016, when the government shut down operations at the Chatree gold mine, which was operated by Kingsgate subsidiary Akara Resources.

Following the shutdown, Kingsgate brought a legal case against its political risk insurers, including Zurich Australia, which was subsequently settled last year for over $82 million in damages.

Kingsgate also brought similar action against the Government of Thailand, under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which has been ongoing ever since.

With the case currently in late-stage arbitration, Thailand-based media outlets have now resurrected old allegations against Kingsgate, which were first brought to light by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in 2011.

At the time, ASIC was investigating allegations that Kingsgate bribed Thai officials to gain access to key gold mining concessions in the region.

Despite the allegations, ASIC ultimately dropped the investigation back in 2014, but Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has kept its own investigation ongoing.

Then, late last month, a NACC spokesperson began reasserting the claims against Kingsgate through regional media outlets, including the widely read Bangkok Post.

Media outlets claim the NACC have received new documents showing the route alleged bribes took through Hong Kong and Singapore financial systems. However, despite the local media reports, the claims have yet to be substantiated.

As ASIC has already concluded its investigation into the matter, Kingsgate considers the bribery allegations closed and is categorically refuting the renewed claims brought forth by NACC and the Thai media.

In the wake of heightened media attention surrounding the Chatree mine case, Kingsgate have stated that recent dialogue with the Thai Government has been positive, and the company remains open to negotiating a settlement.

Failing a settlement, Kingsgate is continuing to await the decision on the case, which is currently sat with an arbitral tribunal.

Kingsgate closed 4.27 per cent in the red for 78 cents per share.

KCN by the numbers
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