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Gold Mines in Malaysia

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  • Gold Mines in Malaysia

    PETALING JAYA: While gold mining is not a new business activity in Malaysia, it does not seem to have any significant domestic capital market participation.
    But the striking fact remains that at least five of the country's gold mines are part of the assets of many listed companies abroad.
    Among them is a Raub mine operated by Raub Australian Gold Mining Sdn Bhd, which in turn is a subsidiary of Peninsular Gold Ltd, listed on London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market.
    The company is under the control of Datuk Seri Andrew Kam Tai Yeow with a 29.5% stake, who is also its chairman and chief executive.
    Peninsular Gold is the only listed gold company with assets in Malaysia that is managed by locals, while the others seem to have foreign ownership (partly) and management.
    But although profitable, Peninsular Gold's earnings are paltry for now.
    For its six-months ended December 2011, the company recorded a net profit of £86,049 (RM421,734) on revenue of £6.805mil (RM33.35mil). The year before, it reported a profit of £657,283 (RM3.22mil) on revenue of £14.19mil (RM69.54mil). Its market capitalisation stands at around £18mil (RM88mil).
    Peninsular Gold's plans have been to use better technology in the extraction of gold at its Raub plant, which has a proven reserve of 202,000 ounces of gold.
    Industry experts say there are three major mines in Malaysia located in Raub, Penjom and Selinsing, in Pahang.
    Since June 2011, the Penjom mine has changed ownership. Norwegian Avocet Mining PLC divested its interest in the mine, which is now under the wings of privately held PT Bukit Makmur Mandiri Utama, Indonesia's second-largest mining contractor.
    Details of the mine has been off the radar but according to last known data, the mine had produced 39,150 ounces of gold for the nine-months ended Sept, 2010.
    The Selinsing mine, operated by Canada's Monument Mining Ltd, is another well-established gold mine, with a production of 44,585 ounces of gold recorded for its year ended June 2012. The mine lays claim to having one of the lowest production costs at US$306 (RM930) per ounce.
    Monument Mining is also exploring other mining projects in the country, including the Mengapur polymetalic project near Sri Jaya, Pahang. The mine is said to have deposits of copper, sulphur, iron, gold and silver.
    Another interesting miner is Singapore-listed CNMC Goldmine Holdings Ltd which has the rights to the 2,370 acres Sokor gold field. CNMC reckons that this gold field is the most prospective but undeveloped hard rock gold mining area in Malaysia.
    In June, CNMC announced its gold reserves rose by 20% to 82,000 ounces.
    CNMC is founded by one Lin Xiang Xiong, a Chinese national who is the chief advisor for China International Trade to the Kelantan state government.
    For its six months ended June, the company recorded a net profit of US$482,646 (RM1.46mil) on a revenue of US$5.178mil (RM15.74mil).
    Over in East Malaysia, a new kid on the block has emerged in the form of Canadian firm Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc. Olympus acquired the 1,400-sq-km Bau gold project as a result of the merger with Zedex Minerals Ltd in 2009, and now has a 83.25% interest in the project.
    The project has 560,000 ounces of indicated gold and another 1.89 million ounces of inferred gold.
    The Bau region is a historic gold field with many geological similarities to the Carlin District of Northern Nevada, which is one of the world's largest gold fields.
    Largely focused in South-East Asia, Olympus is the largest gold producer in Vietnam and operates several underground narrow vein gold mines and an open-pit gold mine at its two production sites in Vietnam. It also has a gold field in the Philippines.