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Besra suspends Vietnam ops

Posted by ipso facto @ 10:42 on July 23, 2014  

By: Henry Lazenby

23rd July 2014

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Vietnam-focused gold miner Besra has revealed that it suspended operations at its Bong Mieu site, in central Vietnam, as of last Friday and would similarly suspend operations at its nearby Phuoc Son site on Tuesday, for what it ascribed as the direct result of “coercive measures” taken by the provincial Quang Nam tax department.

Besra CEO John Seton explained that the tax department deployed “intimidatory measures” that meant that the embattled company could not, and would not, continue to operate.

“The Quang Nam tax department’s actions, [which] appear to be the only case of such measures being applied in all of Vietnam, are in our view illegal and fly in the face of every stated objective of the government of Vietnam towards foreign investment,” he stated.

Besra has faced significant challenges in Vietnam, including a disputed export tax assessment at its Phuoc Son plant and suspended operations at its Bong Mieu mine owing to severe weather conditions, which contributed to the company finding itself in a financial bind. It had agreed to sell a majority stake in the company to a Swiss investor for $14.25-million.

However, earlier this month, the gold miner reopened its Bong Mieu mine, marking the return to operation and at least some cash flow.

Besra said it continued to seek a lifting of the coercive measures as soon as possible.

The company did not mention the nature of the purported coercive measures.

Besra noted that it had received support from both provincial and national governments, which wanted Bong Mieu and Phuoc Son to operate.

“As the national General Department of Taxation has yesterday written to its provincial counterpart suggesting urgent support for the company, we expect this situation could be resolved shortly,” Seton said.

Besra expected to resume activity at both sites once it was satisfied it could operate freely without coercion.


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Post by the Golden Rule. Oasis not responsible for content/accuracy of posts. DYODD.