Besra last week resumed production at its Bong Mieu gold mine in central Vietnam after a hiatus of almost 11 months. It is expected to take between three and six months to ramp up to pre-closure daily production of around 350 tonnes.
Operations at Bong Mieu were suspended in November 2013 following substantial damage to local roads and infrastructure by several typhoons. Operations recommenced briefly in June 2014, only to be stopped a month later by the application of coercive measures by the Quang Nam Tax Department.
As the coercive measures have now ended, the company is re-starting the mine and plant. Initial daily mill throughput will be around 100 tonnes whilst dewatering of the mine continues.
In relation to the re-opening of the nearby Phuoc Son mine, Besra is still awaiting the outcome of the deliberations by the Office of the Prime Minister. Coercive measures are still in place at Phuoc Son preventing the restart there.
Last week, Vietnam’s Prime Minister visited Quang Nam Province where, according to local press reports, the Quang Nam People’s Committee (QNPC) asked that he instruct relevant government bodies to quickly resolve the issues relating to Besra and devise a plan based on the QNPC’s proposal for extension of tax debt collection which includes the lifting of coercive measures paving a way for to a return to operations.
The company also intends to litigate a US$4.5 million property loss and business interruption insurance claim, stemming from the typhoons mentioned above, that was lodged more than nine months ago.
Besra has reaffirmed its commitment to being a long-term contributor to the economic development of Vietnam and in particular the areas in which it operates.