Industry dismisses compensation payment to Australian miner Kingsgate

The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Industry today dismissed media report that Thailand has agreed to the 30-billion baht compensation to Australian miner Kingsgate for shutting its gold mining operations in northern Thailand.

Instead, the permanent secretary Mr Somchai Harnhirun said it was not true as the matter is still under negotiation and no solution has been reached yet.

He said he had no details so far to reveal to the media as everything is still under negotiation.

But he insisted that there was no precondition in the negotiation or drawing any line for itself.

He said the ministry has inquired Kingsgate over its annoucement and was told that it exercises its rights as a protected Australian investor under the Australia-Thailand Free Trade Agreement.

But as the representative of Thailand, he insisted it was not what the miner announced as it remained inconclusive.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has exercised power under Section 44 of the interim Constitution to shut down all gold mining in the country, effective end of last year, following a public outcry over health and environmental issues.

The shutdown forced Akara Resources Plc � a subsidiary of Australia-based Kingsgate � and it’s Chatree mine to stop operations of its gold mines straddling Phichit, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun provinces, and forcing the mass layoff of workers.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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