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Kingsgate wants compensation from Thailand over shutdown of Chatree mine

Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. Chairman Ross Smyth-Kirk said the company will seek compensation from the Thai government over its decision to shut down the Chatree gold mine in Thailand, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported Dec. 16.

The shutdown will be effective Jan. 1, 2017, and operations will remain suspended until the country's National Mineral Management Policy Committee gives renewal approval.

In May, the government ordered the closure of Chatree, along with the country's entire gold mining and exploration industry, due to public uproar regarding environmental and health issues.

Kingsgate said the Thai government's decision was "unreasonable and would scare off foreign investors."

Smyth-Kirk added that "in this day and age" the government should not be able to shut down a viable operation without a reason.

"All we want to do is to continue to keep our heads down and produce for the next few weeks and generate as much cash as we can for shareholders and go forward," Smyth-Kirk said.

The move is expected to result in the loss of about 1,000 jobs.

Earlier in December, the company noted that it was preparing to transition Chatree into care and maintenance.

The mine is operated by Kingsgate unit Akara Resources PCL.