Besra Gold has temporarily suspended its operations at Bong Mieu in central Vietnam owing to the impacts of extremely heavy rains caused by two typhoons which have passed over or near central Vietnam in the last month.

The company had to suspend operations on November 16 after a number of landslides cut roads between the site and the provincial capital of Tam Ky, preventing employees and supplies from accessing the site. The main transport road within the site also suffered substantial damage and is presently unusable.

The landslides and road closures are a direct result of extremely heavy rains caused by two typhoons. Typhoon Nari hit the city of Da Nang on October 15 and more recently tropical storm Haiyan (formerly Super Typhoon Haiyan) passed by the central coast around November 10. Heavy rainfall from Tropical Depression Podul which passed through on November 15 also caused widespread flooding in Quang Nam province.

There are a total of five washouts along the road. Because of the extent of the damage the company is unable to give a definite date when the mine will resume operations. Besra is working with local authorities and will provide further information as it becomes available. In the meantime the company is investigating cover under its production interruption insurance.

Meanwhile, Besra Gold is now refining its own gold at its Phuoc Son property in central Vietnam. The company recently purchased a used OroStudio refining circuit for US$85,000 and has installed it at Phuoc Son. For this relatively small outlay, it expects to save around US$2 million over the next year.

The team has installed and tested it with great results in October. It expected that by mid-November the system would be up and running to a level where the company would be refining 100% of our gold from both Vietnam sites.

In Vietnam, gold exported at less than 99.99% attracts a 10% export tax, which encourages companies to refine in-country. Until now Besra has relied on local refineries which have charged high rates for refining.

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