Australian mining company Emerald Resources has signed a $230m mining contract with Mining and Civil Australia (MACA) for its Okvau gold project in Cambodia.

The seven-year contract, which can be extended further, includes supply of earthmoving equipment and mining services for the Cambodian gold project. The Okvau project is expected to pour its first gold by the second quarter of 2021.

The scope of work to be carried out under the mining contract will cover load, haul, drill and blast services. MACA will be using 100-tonne class dump trucks to execute the contract work.

Contract work for the Okvau Gold Project to begin in August

The company said that the mobilisation to the Okvau gold project is expected to begin in August with operations to commence in October.

MACA operations director Geoff Baker said: “MACA looks forward to continuing the strong working relationship we have developed over many years and across many quality successful projects, with the Board and Management of Emerald.

“The award of the Mining Contract allows MACA to draw on overseas experience gained in Brazil and addsfurther to MACA’s work in the gold sector.”

According to Emerald Resources, the signing of the contract has been done after carrying out extensive work with MACA around scheduling of pre-production and production mining. The parties had executed a memorandum of understanding in January 2019.

Emerald Resources managing director Morgan Hart said: “The signing of the Mining Contract follows a thorough and collaborative process with both teams in finalising the mining schedule for the development and operations of the Okvau Gold Project.

“The signing of the Mining Contract gives us greater confidence to achieve our goal of becoming the first modern large-scale Cambodian gold producer by Q2 2021.”

The Australian mining company was granted the industrial mining licence for the Okvau Gold Project from the Cambodian Ministry of Mines & Energy in July 2018. Located in the Mondulkiri province of eastern Cambodia, the licence spans an area of 11.5km2.

The Okvau Gold Project has an indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate of 1.14Moz at 2.0g/t Au.