Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd, a subsidiary of Australia-listed Emerald Resources NL, reported that its coffers are full enough to develop Okvau Gold Project in northeastern Mondulkiri province and reach first production in the second quarter of this year.
Located in the Okvau area of Keo Seima district in the province’s southwest, the project made significant progress that is consistent with its development timeline and budget, Renaissance said in its fourth quarterly report, which was received by The Post last week.
The company said its consolidated cash position at December 31 stood at approximately A$77 million (US$58.6 million), which it noted indicates that it remains fully funded to develop the project, with additional contingency.
While the pandemic continues to stymie operations at the site, the company has yet to announce a delay or major schedule changes.
“The commitment and dedication of the company’s construction and operational workforce has limited the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to a level that to date has not delayed the project from forecast or increased costs materially.
“Uncertainties around international freight pose an ongoing concern to project development but have been considered in the development timeline and have now largely been overcome with in excess of 75 per cent of all equipment on site,” Renaissance said in the report.
Commenting on the company’s performance during the fourth quarter of last year, Emerald managing director Morgan Hart said: “The company continued to advance development activities at the Okvau Gold Project with earthworks and concrete works aligning well with the equipment delivery schedule as per the project-development timeline.
“The project development has advanced significantly in line with expectations during the quarter which is a credit to our dedicated team in country. They are successfully managing logistical challenges brought on by the global pandemic whilst maintaining first-class protocols to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of staff, contractors and stakeholders.”
Renaissance operations manager Bernie Cleary told The Post that late last month, Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem and his officials paid an onsite visit to the project.
He said: “The minister and delegates were very pleased to be present at the site and receive an overview of the construction and mining activities for the first modern large scale gold mine in Cambodia.
“The project remains on track for gold production during the second quarter of 2021 where from that point we will produce approximately 107,000 ounces of gold per annum from a single open cut pit and gold processing facility.”
The environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) for the project was finalised in July 2017 and approved by the Ministry of Environment in November that year, according to Renaissance.
In July 2018, the Renaissance was granted an Industrial Mining Licence covering 11.5sq km and allowing for development of the project. The company notes that the “licence has an initial 15-year period with the right to two renewals of up to 10 years for each in accordance with Cambodian laws”.
In December 2019, a Mineral Investment Agreement (MIA) was signed by the energy ministry and Ministry of Economy and Finance which Renaissance stresses “provides certainty and stability of the fiscal regime for the development and operations of the Okvau Gold Project”.