Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mine safety law on agenda

Mine safety law on agenda

Mine safety law on agenda

Mine safety law on agenda
Ry Kuok carries a bag of rocks from a gold mine in Mondulkiri province. The government plans to draft a new safety law designed to protect workers after a gold miner went missing when a shaft collapsed in Preah Vihear province last week. Photo by AFP

The government plans to draft a law designed to govern safety standards in the Kingdom’s mining industry, an official said yesterday, little more than a week after at least one gold miner went missing when a shaft collapsed in Preah Vihear province.

Khieu Muth, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Environment, said mining was a thriving sector in Cambodia, but it lacked regulations that protected workers and held companies accountable for dangerous conditions.

“We have many laws in other sectors, but haven’t even completed an environmental impact assessment in the mining sector,” he said. “When we have problems in the mining sector, we do not have laws to arrest or fine those responsible. We must ensure safety by implementing standards.”

The ministry plans to complete an environment impact assessment of the mining, oil and gas sectors with the help of experts from NGOs before drafting a law, Muth added.

Rescue teams called off a search for missing workers at a mine shaft in Prey Vihear’s Rovieng district last Thursday after it collapsed three days earlier.

Only one miner, 18-year-old Thy Nath, was officially listed as missing, but it was believed two or three more may have been unaccounted for.

Chhay Sarath, Cambodians for Resource Revenue Transparency executive director, said that on behalf of NGOs monitoring the mining sector, he welcomed plans for a draft law.

“We support any law that ensures companies protect the safety of their workers and not just focus on profit,” he said.

Nuth Chanty, a miner in Preah Vihear province, said he, too, welcomed better safety standards due to the dangers faced underground.

“I’m a miner, but I never received any technical training at school or anything like that. I just learned it all by doing what my manager ordered me to,” he said.

“If we do anything wrong underground, it’s unsafe. But it’s my job – I have to do it to support my family.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all