Cambodia churns out 4.85 tonnes of dore bars

Cambodia's four official gold producers have pumped out more than 4.8 tonnes of dore bars – a semi-finished product that is smelted at a mine, usually at about 90 per cent purity – since the first commercial gold pour took place in June 2021, according to Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem on November 30.

Speaking at a ministerial meeting, Sem reported that Australian-owned Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd in the Okvau area of Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district produced over 95 per cent of the bars, weighing a total of 4.598 tonnes.

Delcom (Kampuchea) Pte Ltd and Xinshan Industrial (Cambodia) Co Ltd in Preah Vihear province’s Rovieng district have minted 0.160 and 0.045 tonnes of gold bars, respectively, while Xing Yuan Kanng Yeak Co Ltd in Kratie province’s Sambor district has yielded 0.022 tonnes.

The total weight of dore bars produced in the Kingdom has risen to 4,850.050kg as of December 2, according to Ung Dipola, ministry director-general for mineral resources. No breakdown by company was immediately available.

Dipola told The Post on December 5 that Renaissance ships its dore bars abroad to refine to 99.99 per cent purity, while the other three companies carry out the process locally.

Of note, the Ministry of Commerce’s business directory lists officers with overseas addresses – all in mainland China – for all three of Delcom Kampuchea, Xinshan Industrial Cambodia, and Xing Yuan Kanng Yeak, respectively from Guangdong province’s Maoming city; Anhui province’s Anqing city and Hainan province’s Dongfang and Haikou cities; and Guangdong’s Guangzhou city.

Dipola confirmed that there are currently only four active gold mining licences, although are a few additional ones out there for exploration.

Although official commercial gold mining operations are currently confined to the northeastern provinces of Preah Vihear, Mondulkiri and Kratie, there are exploration activities underway in Tbong Khmum, Ratanakkiri and Battambang, Dipola shared.

“If the completed surveys find that that there could be enough production potential … then we’ll start issuing licences,” he said.

Renaissance became Cambodia’s first commercial gold miner, with the first gold pour at the site on June 21, 2021. The Kingdom expects the project to generate $185 million per annum in pre-tax cash flow, with $40 million from royalties and taxes transferred to the national budget, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

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