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Chinese company plans mine projects

CHINESE company HK Qinlong Mining Investment Group has announced plans to explore 2,000 square kilometres primarily for iron and gold deposits in Kampot and Preah Vihear provinces.

The firm met Tuesday with Prime Minister Hun Sen to discuss its intentions to extract the resources located on its Cambodian concessions following a period of exploratory work, said Eang Sophalleth, spokesman for the premier.

“Qinlong President Li Xiaoming told Hun Sen he was confident about investing in Cambodia, and was not concerned with the fallout from the present financial crisis,” he said.

Eang Sophalleth added that Cambodia’s plans to extract its rich mineral deposits formed an integral part of the government’s overall economic strategy.

In private discussions, the prime minister stressed Cambodia’s stable political and economic climate, and encouraged the Chinese firm to press forward with its operations while maintaining close ties with the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, Eang Sophalleth said.

Li said that once the firm had completed its search for resources, it would share data with the government in an effort to foster ties, and then begin mining soon afterwards.

The firm would concentrate on searching for iron and gold, but would also consider other deposits, he said.

Sot Yea, deputy governor of Kampot province, said he had not yet received information on the project, but said he would help facilitate the firm’s operations in the area.

“If the project goes ahead, hopefully we will see job opportunities created, leading to poverty reduction for our residents. We always welcome investments which bring development to our province,” he said.

The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy declined to comment Wednesday on the firm’s arrival.

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