Angkor Gold Corporation
The CSR Business Model
The Angkor Gold Corporation is revolutionizing the global mining exploration industry. The exploration firm, based out of northern Alberta, holds licenses over several properties in the relatively new freemarket state of Cambodia. Angkor Gold believes that through installing social and environmentally sustainable practices within the country’s rapidly developing economy, it can positively alter the global mining exploration industry as a whole.
Starting with a Clean Slate
Angkor Gold has the unique opportunity to not only create a profitable company within a highly minable region, but also to help establish a successful mining exploration industry within a nation. The political turmoil present in Cambodia from the 1970s2000s left the nation without a viable economy and barred several fields from developing. Now, with the support of companies such as Angkor Gold, the country has the opportunity to thrive.
According to CEO Mike Weeks, “Cambodia is booming and open for business.”
The commercial mining industry is new to Cambodia, although it has been mined by local artisanal miners for decades. Angkor Gold first ventured into the country in 2009 through a joint venture agreement with Australiabased Liberty Mining International Pty Ltd. for the Banlung North, Banlung South, Oyadao North and Oyadao South mining licenses.
Under Weeks’ direction, Angkor Gold gained exploration licenses on several other Cambodian projects. To date, the company holds 7 licenses with over 30 prospects, encompassing more than 1,450 square kilometers.
In order to maintain a profit stream following prospect development, , Angkor Gold establishes royalty deals with its partners. Through this, Angkor Gold explores a prospect to the point of viability for development, then brings in development partners that are successful in mitigating risks at a development stage, such as producing at a lower deposit cost. By taking a royalty on the deal, Angkor Gold can establish a consistent revenue stream. Angkor Gold’s most recent partnership with Tohui Beishan Property Group Holding Limited exemplifies this deal making method.
The majority of Angkor Gold’s strategic partnerships are with Asian firms; something that Corporate Development Manager Don Mosher believes to be a great advantage:
“Many Asiabased companies bring in their own geological expertise to each project. They look at the early stage data, and make decisions based on their findings. By defining an economic quantity to mine at an early stage relieves a lot of pressure off of us, and negates the need for an NI 43101, resulting in huge cost and time savings and moving projects forward more quickly.”
Over 50% of Angkor Gold is owned by Angkor Gold’s team and close associates, which includes all management and board directors, ensuring that all those involved have a vested interest in the company’s success. Angkor Gold currently trades under the TSX Venture under the ticker symbol ‘ANK’.
A Country Ripe for Development
Angkor Gold faces a difficult task: not only must it operate as a successful mining exploration company, it must also assist a relatively new nation in establishing what could be one its most critical industries.
“Cambodia wants to become one of the Asian Tigers, and Angkor Gold has the opportunity to move it that way,” Mosher explains, “We’ve focused on building strong relationships with all levels of the Cambodian government, including the village communities, in order to facilitate this development.”
Through establishing safe, sustainable mining practices, Angkor Gold can help develop what has, until now, been the nation’s unregulated, artisanal, and in many cases, illegal mining industry. This ensures the workers remain safe, the environment is unharmed, and the Cambodian government can regulate and earn taxation revenue on its resources.
Angkor Gold is part of the Cambodian Association of Mining and Exploration, a formal association that aims to bring miningrelated companies together to develop a strong, sustainable mining industry in the country. Although several companies have stalled progress in recent years, those who have banded together have received substantial investor support and have been able to propel the future of mining in Cambodia forward.
Angkor Gold is defining the future of Cambodia’s mining industry. Thus, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an integral part of its business model.
“CSR is paramount to us,” says Delayne Weeks, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility. “It’s not an element of our strategy, it’s the philosophy behind the entire company. Not only does this make good business sense, but it’s the right thing to do.”
The average age in Cambodia is 25, which poses both a challenge and tremendous opportunity. The country holds a huge asset in human resource development; however, many of these young people lack the skill set to prosper in the new economy. In response, Angkor Gold provides many training workshops and facilities to help prepare Cambodia’s population for the needs of the labour market.
Angkor Gold is also working alongside the Cambodian government to help educate its provincial and federal politicians on the future of mining exploration in the country.
“Mining is a brand new commercial industry for Cambodia,” explains Delayne Weeks. “This means we have to work with them leading the way to creating this new field. Yes, there are challenges – but they’re good challenges.”
In order to establish a sustainable mining industry, Angkor Gold must also work alongside the Cambodian government to create longlasting infrastructure. This often means working with local indigenous communities to help facilitate schools and education, and finding water solutions to improve both health and economic conditions. Installing roads and building bridges have to benefit all parties and minimizing environmental impact on all sites is a priority.
Inspiring Global Change
Angkor Gold is making a tremendous difference in Cambodia; yet this isn’t their only target.The company is also inspiring change in other nations throughout the world.
Several of the company’s partners joined Angkor Gold in order to learn from their CSR business model. These firms see the success Angkor Gold has had, and want to observe and transport these CSR processes when developing their own mining industry.
Angkor Gold Corporation is leaving an unprecedented impact on the global mining exploration industry, proving that corporate social responsibility is a very real part of a successful business model.