Phichit locals ‘waiting for Akara gold mine to resume operations’
The president of Gold Mine Lovers Club, Chaiyaporn Sudsin, and residents living near the Akara Resources' gold mine in Phichit province, have submitted a letter to the provincial governor on Friday, confirming that they are waiting for the company to reopen the mine.
The residents also asked the government not to be afraid of intimidation from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) outside the area.
The letter to Governor Paiboon Nabutchom said the gold mine did not affect the environment or the health of local residents, and claimed that the gold mine would improve the quality of life of locals and generate revenue for the community and country.
"Hence, we would like to ask the Phichit governor and related government officials to perform their duties in line with laws for the maximum benefit of the country without fear of intimidation from people outside the area," the letter said, adding the intimidation aimed to create confusion and divide people for hidden benefits.
Chaiyaporn said none of the NGOs offered help to residents who were laid off after the gold mine was closed. He also claimed that the residents had to ask the mine operator for help.
Meanwhile, Paiboon told residents that he had met with a group of people who were opposing the reopening of the gold mine, but he found later that they were not residents of the gold mine area.
He promised to do his best to protect Phichit citizens with transparency and fairness in line with laws.
Parent company Kingsgate had informed the Australian Securities Exchange that it had received four mining leases from the Thai government to resume operations at the mine.
Chatree gold mine was closed in January 2017 by an executive decree of the junta National Council for Peace and Order, which cited pollution and environmental damage caused by the mine’s operations.
The closure order triggered a battle with Akara’s parent company Kingsgate Consolidated of Australia, with Thailand liable to pay over THB25 billion if it loses the case.