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Akara Joins Hands with PMR and Ausiris Ushering Thailand into the Gold Hub in Southeast Asia, Passing on ‘Thai Value’ through Thai Gold by Thais for Thais

On 7 September 2023, Mr. Sumeth Prasongphongchai, Director of the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT), presided over the grand opening ceremony and embarked on an insightful visit to the captivating “Thai Gold for Thais” partnership booth within the 68th Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC) under the collaboration orchestrated by three key players: Akara Resources Public Company Limited, Precious Metal Refining Company Limited, and Ausiris Company Limited, with the vision of “Thai Gold for Thais.” For the second consecutive year, this partnership booth is shining brightly with its vision of “Thai Gold for Thais,” with this year’s goal being to pass on the essence of “Thai Value” through Thai gold to the world’s eyes. Simultaneously, it is driving a significant transformation of the gold supply chain, bringing it closer to the ultimate aspiration of becoming a quintessential gold value chain. Together, these industry leaders have their sights set on ushering Thailand into a new era, establishing the country as the preeminent gold hub of Southeast Asia.

At the “Thai Gold for Thais” partnership booth, Mr. Cherdsak Utha-aroon, General Manager – Sustainability, Akara Resources Public Company Limited; M.L. Paramaporn Devakula, General Manager of Precious Metal Refining Company Limited; and Mr. Boonlert Siripatvanich, Chief Executive Officer of Ausiris Company Limited, had the pleasure of welcoming and accompanying the Director during his visit. This provided an opportunity for the executives to share their visions regarding their respective companies’ roles within the alliance and discuss the potential benefits that this collaboration holds, not only for their individual organizations, but also for Thailand as a whole.

Akara Resources Public Company Limited, Thailand’s largest gold mining operator with a clear ambition to lead gold production in Southeast Asia, is unwavering in its commitment to elevating operational standards. This dedication goes hand-in-hand with its desire for continuous collaboration with its fellow Thai companies in the gold industry, which forms the bedrock of the “Thai Gold for Thais” partnership. This innovative alliance seamlessly unifies the entire gold supply chain, fundamentally reshaping the industry. In this groundbreaking partnership, Akara confidently envisions the uninterrupted flow of “value” cascading through the chain — commencing with Akara, traversing through PMR, and culminating with Ausiris, each contributing to the mining, refinement, and craftsmanship of gold. However, this partnership is about more than just business; it is about creating employment opportunities, enhancing the quality of life, championing environmental preservation, all while safeguarding Thai culture through the journey of Thai gold. Ultimately, this collective endeavor will drive Thailand forward as the new epicenter of gold production in Southeast Asia. Akara, while excavating “Thai Gold,” is simultaneously delivering the “Value of Sustainability” to the Thai people, setting the stage for the other values to follow suit.

During the booth visit, Mr. Cherdsak Utha-aroon expressed Akara’s role in enhancing the quality of life and fostering community development around its mine within the framework of the “Thai Gold for Thais” partnership. He stated that, “Akara unearths ‘value’ from the ground. Value is created by us, so more added value may follow throughout the entire supply chain. We commenced commercial operations on 12 December 2001, and since then, on average we have produced more than 100,000 ounces of gold and 1,000,000 ounces of silver per year. So far, we have been accumulating over 23.6 million safe working hours under our belt, earning us a title of ‘one of the safest gold mines in the world.’ Meanwhile, we have contributed over THB 4,000 billion to the Thai economy by generating over 1,000 positions filled by Thai employees, with 90% of those being local residents from the communities surrounding our mine. 

“Akara’s mission in these regards goes beyond these achievements. We have also taken the initiative to establish, maintain, and repair the entire water supply systems for 28 villages within a 5-kilometer radius of our mine. Our active engagement in reforestation efforts is also equally noteworthy. We are in relentless pursuit of a greener world, with a target of planting more than 1,000,000 trees by 2027. Additionally, since the start of our operations, we have disbursed over THB 4,600 million in royalties. Of this sum, 40% goes to the central government, 50% to the local administrative organizations in our mine’s vicinity, and the remaining 10% to other local administrative organizations nationwide. All of these endeavors exemplify Akara’s commitment to giving back to the Thai people, providing added value that paves the way for the other values down the gold supply chain, all with a sense of pride for all,” concluded the general manager – sustainability.

The dedicated commitment to placing “Thai people” at the core of its vision perfectly aligns with that of Precious Metal Refining Company Limited. As an internationally recognized precious metal processing and refinery company, PMR has consistently focused on raising the bar for metal processing and refinery, assuring consumers that its gold and silver can effectively meet the increasingly diverse demands of the market. This accomplishment is made possible by its rigorous processing and refining procedures that conform to global standards. Of particular note are the RJC Certification and GIT Standard — the very benchmarks that Akara and Ausiris sought when selecting a precious metal refining partner, prompting their decisions to join hands with PMR under the “Thai Gold for Thais” partnership. In this collaboration, PMR serves as the “conduit.” It receives gold from its partners in a variety of forms, including doré bars from the upstream and old jewelry pieces from the downstream, then meticulously processes and refines these materials into pure gold, ensuring strict compliance with the exacting standards set by each of the collaborating companies. This alliance significantly enhances Thai entrepreneurs’ and gold products’ competitiveness in both domestic and international markets. And it is thanks to the processing and refining of Thai gold by PMR that guarantees that the transfer of “Value of Excellency” is not only feasible, but also continuous and seamless, regardless of geographical and temporal boundaries.

M.L. Paramaporn Devakula eloquently conveyed PMR’s dedicated commitment to being a preferred partner in precious metal processing and refinery within the framework of the “Thai Gold for Thais” partnership. He emphasized, “Our strict adherence to RJC Certification and GIT Standard serves as a testament to PMR’s dedication to excellence in processing and refining precious metals. And we have entered into the ‘Thai Gold for Thais’ partnership to promote Thailand to a gold processing and refinery hub in Southeast Asia. And it is because of the high standards we uphold that Thai gold and silver products are now much more competitive on the global market, making them eligible for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), which have a number of benefits.

“Notably, these advantages encompass reduced import taxes for destination countries, contingent upon providing proof of country of origin, demonstrating that the gold and silver are processed and refined in Thailand in accordance with international standards. This gives a distinct competitive edge to Thai entrepreneurs and gold and silver products in foreign markets, leading to an increase in orders, especially within ASEAN countries. Furthermore, this enhances cost transparency, ensuring that over 40% of the value of these products originates from resources within Thailand, primarily from Akara and PMR, which, in turn, provides a competitive advantage to manufacturers like Ausiris. All in all, these stringent standards and ensuing benefits instill confidence that the transmission of ‘value’ is feasible, continuous, and seamless, regardless of how far across borders or through time it may go, underpinning the enduring success of the partnership,” added the general manager.

Similarly, in the “Thai Gold for Thais” partnership, Ausiris Limited Company, a distinguished leader in the manufacturing and repurchase of gold bars and jewelry pieces, perceives an exceptional opportunity to proudly carry forward the legacy of Petchaburi goldsmiths, where it finds its roots. In this dynamic alliance, the gold itself stands for a harmonious brainchild conceived from the union of Akara’s mining, PMR’s refinery, and Ausiris’ workmanship, embodying a universal tapestry of values. As a result, giving customers this gold is more than just a business transaction; it is an immersive experience that transcends material value. Truly shining even at face value, it invites customers to delve deeper beyond meets the eye, to intimately connect with the spiritual essence of Thai goldsmithing. Most recently, Ausiris has unveiled the Gold Treasures collection, a selection of small gold bars with a purity of 99.99% and adorned with exquisite Thai motifs symbolizing Thailand’s heritage. From upstream to downstream, not only does this creation stimulate job creation and income distribution, but it also promotes the singular artistry of Thai goldsmiths. And with this concerted effort, the conventional “gold supply chain” will culminate in a “gold value chain.” As “Thai gold” continues to circulate throughout Thailand and extend beyond to the rest of the world, the enduring “Value of Craftsmanship” will ultimately continue to live on with — and within — the Thai people, returning to the roots of “Thai identity” and standing side by side with the other preceding two values for Thais, as exemplified by the name of this visionary partnership.

Mr. Boonlert Siripatvanich offered insights into the inception of the “Thai Gold for Thais” vision, its evolution into the present-day eponymous partnership, and Ausiris’ pivotal role in this collaboration. He clarified, “‘Thai Gold’ means gold that is mined, refined, and crafted by Thais. ‘For Thais’ on the one hand means carrying profound economic implications benefitting Thais, be it job creation, income generation, or craftsmanship promotion among our fellow Thais. On the other hand, it means extending opportunities for Thais to support and, in turn, take pride in Thai gold products by Thais for Thais. 

“Most importantly, ‘Thai Gold’ doesn’t exclusively belong to Thai people, nor is it limited to a particular generation. Its enduring value and pride associated with it can be passed on through generations, whether through the purchase of gold bars or jewelry pieces or the recycling of old jewelry pieces, transforming them into pure gold before reshaping them into new forms. And this ‘Thai Gold for Thais’ partnership contributes to ensuring the perpetual, seamless handing down of these values, transcending geographical borders and generational boundaries. This concerted effort will ultimately cultivate a shared sense of ‘Thai Pride’ — gilded and glistening as gold, poised to show before the world’s eyes. At the same time, it will propel Thailand toward a prominent position as a gold production and trade hub within Southeast Asia,” concluded the chief executive officer. In this transformative “Thai Gold for Thais” partnership, gold will be produced by Akara in the form of dore bars. These bars will subsequently be sent to PMR, where they will be processed and refined into gold bullions, following internationally recognized sustainability and social responsibility standards. The refined bullions are then passed on to Ausiris to be further crafted into exquisite gold bars and jewelry pieces. This intricate process signifies the seamless transfer of enduring values — sustainability, excellence, and craftsmanship — throughout the entire supply chain. These coordinated efforts yield significant benefits for the Thai people. Employment opportunities are created, quality of life enhanced, and cultural identity preserved through Thai gold — proudly by Thais for Thais. Moreover, this partnership also extends an invitation to the Thai people to actively support products that embody these three cherished values — ones that resonate with people worldwide in search of gold. This collaboration represents a synergy of global values, a journey that elevates the gold supply chain to the pinnacle of a gold value chain. And this chain passes on these precious values seamlessly across borders and through generations, circulating throughout Thailand and subsequently extending beyond, ultimately raising Thailand’s potential as a comprehensive gold hub in Southeast Asia.