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Thai PM urges Kingsgate to hold off on lawsuit over Chatree mine closure

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urged Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. not to sue the government over the closure of the company's Chatree gold mine, noting that the move was just a suspension, The Nation reported Dec. 27.

Chan-o-cha said the fate of gold mines in the country would be discussed further.

"We just suspended the gold mine operation in waiting for the new Mineral Bill to become law and the setting up of a mining committee, so they can investigate the mining operation and its impact on the people," he said.

Thailand ordered the shutdown of the Chatree mine in May, along with the country's entire gold mining and exploration industry, as a result of public uproar regarding environmental and health issues.

Kingsgate Chairman Ross Smyth-Kirk recently said that the company will seek compensation from the government over its decision to close the mine, adding that the move was unreasonable.

The Chatree mine is operated by Kingsgate subsidiary Akara Resources PCL.