Northern Gulf Bids for Control of Owner of Thai Gold Mineby
Kingsgate Consolidated faces closure of Chatree mine
Thai company will pay as much as A$4.9 million for 50.1%
Northern Gulf Petroleum Ltd. offered to pay as much as A$4.9 million ($3.7 million) to buy 50.1 percent of Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd., the operator of Thailand’s biggest gold mine that’s facing the threat of closure.
Northern Gulf is better placed than Australia’s Kingsgate to resolve disputes with the Thai government, Director Chatchai Yenbamroong said Friday in a statement. Chatchai has previously been an adviser to Kingsgate and also to a former Thai Prime Minister, according to the statement.
Thailand’s government in May ordered the shuttering of Kingsgate’s Chatree mine, about 280 kilometers (174 miles) north of Bangkok, by the end of the year, citing concern the project was damaging the environment and sickening workers. Kingsgate has rejected the allegations and didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the offer.
Northern Gulf offered to acquire as much as 50.1 percent of holders’ shares for 4.2 Australian cents a share, the company said. Kingsgate, which had a market valuation on Dec. 31 of about A$83 million, halted its shares in May on uncertainty over the future of its mine.
Kingsgate is considering the bid and advised shareholders to take no action pending a response from its board, the company said in a statement.