By Don Weinland
A mining outfit in Battambang province will begin copper and silver extraction within two years, the company’s chief executive said yesterday.
Wild Bull Resources, an Australian firm partnering with local miner Angkor Thumopich Resources (ATR), would join a small group of companies claiming a quick turnaround in an industry that has yet to see extraction.
A high-level government adviser holds a management position and a stake in ATR.
Wild Bull has applied for an exploration licence and will explore the open pit mine in Battambang’s Don Tret area for at least six months, CEO Paul Menere said.
“We will be working out a drilling program while making sure that we don’t negatively impact locals,” he said, adding that the firm would employ Cambodians. “We’ll be extracting within two years.”
Wild Bull will invest up to US$6 million, Menere said.
So Yeang, an adviser to president of the senate Chea Sim and an ATR shareholder and operations director, said he had confidence that drilling would start soon and lead to quick extraction.
In September, Cambodian and Kuwaiti joint venture PIMA-D&D International Co said it would extract gold and iron ore within two years of launching, the Post reported at the time.
Astra Resources, a Frankfurt Stock Exchange-listed mining company, made a similar announcement in October, saying it would identify 350,000 ounces of gold and begin extraction within one year.
At the time, insiders said they would “believe it when [they] see it”, noting the amount of time mining exploration has required in Cambodia.
Renaissance Minerals, which bought Oz Mineral’s Cambodia assets this year, as well as Liberty Mining International, started exploration in 2005.
After seven years, extraction was still a few years off, Richard Stanger, Liberty’s managing director and president of the Cambodian Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, said yesterday.
“Somewhere within two to five years, Renaissance might be in the position to announce they have a mine-able resource,” he said.
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