Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Miners ask Hun Sen to let them dig deeper

Miners ask Hun Sen to let them dig deeper

Miners ask Hun Sen to let them dig deeper

More than 500 villagers in Mondulkiri’s Chung Phlas’ mining community thumbprinted a letter sent to Prime Minister Hun Sen, and to the Ministry of Mines and Energy and its provincial counterpart, requesting that those holding a community mining licence be allowed to dig below the current limit of 20 metres.

A total of 527 villagers supported the Monday letter asking that they be allowed to dig as deep as 150 metres in order to extract gold.

Oun Chhang Lim, president of the Chung Phlas gold-mining community – composed of more than 30 mining sites – said villagers were having difficulty finding gold at the shallower depth.

“We used to dig more than 20 metres for a long time as our traditional way,” he said. “We could find gold to support our families.”

Last year, Chung Phlas became part of a pilot program to cut down on illegal mining by awarding community mining licences, with the Mines Ministry setting the 20-metre limit for technical and safety reasons, said Meng Saktheara, spokesman for the ministry.

Some villagers already had their licence revoked for digging as deep as 100 metres, he said.

In January, a miner died and another was injured while working at a community mining site in Poutong village in Prey Meas forest. Saktheara said he wasn’t sure whether the ministry had received the request, but added, “Personally, I don’t think it’s possible, technically and legally”, to grant it.

San Darith, a director of the mines department in Mondulkiri, said his department will examine the request.

Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

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