Besra Gold has re-opened its Phuoc Son gold mine in central Vietnam after suspending operations just over two years ago. The company has been able to return to operations this week with the support of its local bankers VietABank and local partner Vaco Gold Co Ltd.
Besra’s CEO John Seton said, “First and foremost I need to thank our staff for their huge effort in protecting this asset in incredibly difficult circumstances. Were it not for their good will and incredibly hard work, we would not be able to make this announcement. Senior staff worked tirelessly and for the most part, without payment.
“I also acknowledge the tremendous support of the diplomatic and trade personnel at the New Zealand and Australian embassies in Hanoi who have worked hard behind the scenes to bring a common sense approach to resolving the issues faced by the company over the last two years.”
John Seton said, “Operations at the Phuoc Son mine were suspended in July 2014 as a direct result of coercive measures applied by the Quang Nam Tax Department which were in our view illegal, and fly in the face of every stated objective of the Government of Vietnam towards foreign investment.”
VietABank provided a bank guarantee to the local tax department and Vaco Gold provided essential capital for the restart of operations and payment of local creditors.
Besra has a long history in central Vietnam. It opened the first modern plant in the country and, with two sites processing gold, its operation is still the largest.
Consolidated gold production in 2013 was 60,187 ounces.
Besra acquired the Bong Mieu property in 1997 and opened a gold plant there in 2005. It was granted exploration licences at Phuoc Son in 1999 and commissioned that gold plant in June 2011. It remains the most modern gold facility in the country.