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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 (KCN) subsidiary, Akara Resources, will finally offload the gold and silver "sludge" left over from the decommissioning of the Chatree mine
  • It's estimated the sludge contains around 4750 ounces of gold and 34,800 ounces of silver and is valued at around $14 million
  • Akara had been prevented from offloading the product due to a long-running dispute with Thai authorities over alleged corruption
  • Kingsgate maintains relations with the Thai government are warming, and that the new permission to offload the Chatree sludge is a positive step and an "act of good faith" in the ongoing negotiations
  • The sludge is already on its way to a Thai refinery for processing
  • Kingsgate is up 9.26 per cent to 88.5 cents at market close

Kingsgate (KCN) subsidiary, Akara Resources, will finally offload the gold and silver "sludge" left over from the decommissioning of the Chatree mine in Thailand.

It's estimated the sludge contains around 4750 ounces of gold and 34,800 ounces of silver, and is valued at around $14 million before royalties, transportation and refining costs.

Akara had been prevented from offloading the product due to a long-running legal dispute with Thai authorities.

Hurdles

The Chatree mine was closed at the end of 2016 amid allegations of bribery springing from an anti-corruption probe into Kingsgate's Thai operations.

The investigation goes back to 2011 when the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) first brought the allegations to light.

While ASIC dropped the investigation in 2014, allegations against Kingsgate and its subsidiary have continued to surface in Thai media, and the companies' activities have allegedly been probed by the Thai National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

Kingsgate maintains relations with the Thai government are warming, and that the new permission to offload the Chatree sludge is a positive step and an "act of good faith" in the ongoing negotiations.

What's next

New legislation requires all gold mined in Thailand to be refined within the country.

Akara has agreed on terms with a Thai refinery to process the sludge, and it is already en route to the refinery.

Kingsgate says the "move is long overdue" as the company has been advocating for a negotiated settlement with the government "for some considerable time."

No timelines have been provided either for the processing of the sludge, or the mediation with the Thai government.

Kingsgate is up 9.26 per cent to 88.5 cents at market close.

KCN by the numbers
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