Angkor Resources Corp: At the Forefront, Capitalizing on the Unexplored Resources of Cambodia

Angkor Resources Corp. is Cambodia’s first public North American company to undertake exploration, development, and production in the resource sector of the SE nation. The company positioned itself to seek and optimize impact-positive opportunities that will fast-track production and cash flow. The Canadian company set national platforms for ESG in the mineral sector from 2010 onward. Also recently, the company took on sand and alluvial gold recovery project in the Philippines and a gas capture project in Canada, both of which will generate the company’s first cash flow streams by mid-2022.


A Journey to Discover the Hidden Gems of Cambodia

Angkor Resources was first publicized in the October of 2011. For 9 years, it operated solely in Cambodia on mineral exploration. The company made significant discoveries of epithermal gold veins and copper porphyry systems, some of the firsts in the country that are yet to be produced. In 2020, Angkor moved ahead with its subsidiary, EnerCam Resources, for energy, oil, and gas and applied for Cambodia’s first onshore O&G license. Although that process slowed down due to the COVID pandemic, the company has finalized the Production Sharing Agreement with the government and looks to proceed with the project in mid-2022.

Angkor Resources continues to advance mineral projects in gold and copper across two licenses in NE Cambodia while advancing plans for production in oil and gas opportunities. In mid-2021, Angkor undertook a strategic review of the company, made pivotal shifts which resulted in its evolution to a ‘resource optimizer’. This transformation made for continued work in the resource sector but included near-cashflow projects in resources and filling unique niche markets with solutions in ESG, carbon capture and gas conservation, and environmental resource solutions, all of which created recurring cash.

The year 2022 is paramount for the company, following those strategic pivots for Angkor; ultimately, the company will see its first cashflows mid-year and hopes to add to that by the end of 2022.


The Talented Duo Driving the Economic Growth of the Country

Mike Weeks is the current Executive VP of Operations and also the Founder of the company. He has vast global experience in oil and gas production, development, and refinement across Europe, North Africa, Canada, and SE Asia. Helping Cambodia realize its own source of energy is a priority for Mike.

Another strong pillar of the company is Delayne Weeks, who has been with the company since its inception as the VP of Social Development, then into Finance before taking the CEO reins in mid-2021. Delayne is a businesswoman and has owned and operated several successful companies prior to being involved in Angkor Resources. She also consulted for municipalities and indigenous communities on economic development for over a decade. Delayne has addressed over 250 delegates from 55 nations about “responsible development in the extractive sector” at the United Nations Geneva and several national venues in SE Asia.

As the leaders of Angkor, Mike and Delayne have played a paramount role in establishing a template of responsible sustainable development in resources while concurrently assisting communities to control their own destiny, manage and protect their own lands, and build skillset so that the economic path for every family is improved.


Bequeathing Best Practices with Tech and Advancements 

Angkor Resources has been a leader in SE Asia for mining by taking the best practices approach, which is combining technology and advancements from the more developed countries with the local, well-tuned existing practices.

The team asserts that by folding the reality of ESG practices into everyday activities in the mining sector, Angkor illustrates how to transform policy and intent into action to ‘make it real’. Implementing theory into practice has positioned Angkor to be recognized as a leader not only for the mineral sector but also for the nation as a corporate example . The company has also repeatedly participated in working groups to review new and amend existing legislation regarding mining and petroleum laws and procedures.

Management adds that bringing comparative legislation from developed nations like Canada with long-standing mining operations of all types only helps to strengthen the evolving legislation of Cambodia.


Big Data as a Crucial Ingredient for Substantiality 

Delayne believes that as projects expand in size and capacity, big data will become more attractive as an application for companies. Certainly, cloud computing and data usage are already making inroads in the industry. She adds that at production levels for offshore energies and large open-pit mining projects, the amount of data increases substantially, and thereby justifies and warrants more attention on how to store, manipulate, and analyze the data in a more central format. However, Delayne mentions that due respect is always necessary for ‘ownership and access’ of data, whether big or small.


Making a Mark by ‘Thinking Differently’

Delayne describes says that the new and transformed Angkor, post strategic review, is an entity that continually looks at all opportunities in the resource sector to ensure that value is created for the investors. The first two cashflows in 2022, being the gas capture in Canada, and the sand and alluvial gold project in the Philippines, are aimed to create long-term solutions environmentally and socially, but also economically for Angkor. Delayne remarks that the new Angkor ‘thinks differently’ about how it does business.

In fact, the management has invested a great deal of its own money in the company and owns over 25% of the stock by contributing real cash. But just as important to the company’s strength is that the team views each transaction from the investor’s point of view, so the result is an accelerated return in the upcoming 12 months.

Some of the key partnerships of Angkor include:

1. Jarai Indigenous community agreement for the cradle-to-grave mining cycle across the 118 km2 of Andong Meas mineral license, precedent for all of Cambodia

2. A team of professionals in Evesham Canada that maximize production and environmental protection to create clean natural gas energy from emissions that would otherwise vent to the atmosphere as carbons.

3. A group of innovative, practical businessmen for dredging, washing, and marketing from the Malaguit River, and implementing gold recovery from the sand.

4. Becoming the lead service provider for onshore and possibly offshore oil and gas production, striving to launch the first domestic energy for the kingdom of Cambodia.


Converting Microfinance into Revenue Streams 

Delayne says that one of the major challenges Angkor Resources faced is to educate people about Cambodia in general, including its stability and potential for large benefits with a variety of opportunities in the resource sector. Although it is an emerging market, the Cambodian government has gone to great lengths with its governance in the minerals and energy, oil, and gas sectors. Its agreements are of international global quality, well researched, and up to date. And the people, in general, are amazing to work with. The country is safe and the economy is growing, with an environment of stability.

She further reveals that the Khmer Rouge regime formed part of the history from 1974 to 1999, but Cambodia has let ahead with development and infrastructure. Delayne opines that being an early entry participant in the country is not only an asset and an adventure, but educating and sharing that experience with others is important to increase the number of entrants into an emerging sector; ultimately, this part of an ongoing education about Cambodia.

The second-largest challenge that she mentions is that micro-finance institutions have impacted the rural and indigenous communities in such a way that the debt load of low-income families is limiting their ability to manage credit, which led to land grabs over the past decades. Because borrowers had a lack of understanding of debt and in financial literacy in general, there exists vulnerability for less fortunate families and complete rural villages.  The Company is assisting several Indigenous communities by building village capacities so they can address the issue within the community and provide alternatives for those residents in need of financial assistance.

Delayne remarks that instead of microfinance becoming a solution for low-income borrowers, it became a revenue stream for some banks and affluent moneylenders, with little consideration for the uneducated borrowers, their land, homes, and vehicles.


A Plethora or Recognitions and Good Wills 

There are several laurels that Angkor can boast about. The company was recognized by the United Nations over several years for establishing leading ESG platforms and practices across all programs in the extractive sector, for its discoveries of gold epithermal formations and copper-gold porphyry systems when the team was informed that there were none in Cambodia. Besides this, the company has implemented training for nationals in the resource sector to achieve a 90% national staff threshold for the past decade, and also integrated Cambodia’s first ‘cradle-to-grave’ agreement with the indigenous communities on developing and protecting their lands while promoting commercial operations, from exploration to production, and cash crops with value-added products, all to benefit the communities.


Leading Towards a Healthy Future with Sustainable Motives 

CEO Delayne presumes that the industry, in general, has been highly criticized in the past several years. She personally feels that the domain has missed complimenting those industry leaders who implemented sound measures with ESG interwoven into their activities. She believes that horrific events like the invasion of Ukraine blast out the message that minerals and energy are absolutely necessary for humanity’s existence. Therefore, the industry as a whole needs to collectively take measures that minimize the carbon footprint, and protects the environmental and social influences, in order to for all parties to move forward in the resource sector.

She continues that Angkor Resources has been working with this philosophy for over a decade and has also progressed in a developing country despite challenges. Delayne believes that bodes well for the company as its reputation in Cambodia stands for itself but just as importantly, small determined companies who think differently can aid in meeting the future challenges. The team looks forward to a very healthy future for Angkor Resources.


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