A raid on a suspected illegal mining operation in Stung Treng province that had been flagged last week for contaminating water supplies uncovered a group of unlicensed Vietnamese and Cambodian miners.
Seng Rino, Siem Pang district military police commander, said he led a group of officers deep into Santepheap commune yesterday after they also received reports of a shooting in the area.
“The locals brought Cambodian and Vietnamese people there to mine. We questioned them and they said they started mining a few days ago.”
The raid was the latest crackdown on illegal mining amid a nationwide audit of the industry.
Sy Nuon, the district governor, said that the site where the miners were found was inside the licence area of a gold mining firm that had been issued a “local” mining licence, however, he claimed to not remember the name of the company.
A District Hall official said that mining in that area had gone on for more than two years without interruption, adding that the expulsion of mercury into a nearby stream had contaminated local water supplies.