An opposition lawmaker is calling for the government to publicise its licensing of Cambodian mines, claiming that parliament has never received formal documentation of licensed mining companies.
In a letter to Minister of Industry Mines & Energy Suy Sem last week, Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay demanded to know the number and location of licensed companies, how much these companies pay the government for licences, whether these companies have the right to sell their licences, and whether the government benefits from these sales, such as the one in which the Vietnamese Nam Hai Mineral Joint Stock Company, sold its licence to an Australian company for US$3 million.
“During a period of more than 10 years, there have been many cases of complaints from people about exploring for gold mines and diamonds in an anarchic manner by some companies taking place in Kampong Thom and Ratanakkiri province,” Chhay’s letter stated.
Sem could not be reached, and Secretary of State Ith Praing declined to comment.
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