Angkor Gold Corp is entering its second phase of exploration in Ratanakiri province after its first round showed promising indications of copper and silver deposits.
The firm, along with partner Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), will inject another $1 million into further exploration and undertake 1.2 kilometres of drilling in and around its Halo prospect in the Oyadao region by the end of March, according to a statement issued yesterday.
John-Paul Dau, vice president of operations at Angkor Gold, said the Oyadao site was a flagship project for the company.
“The first round we had 1,800 metres drilling,” he said. “We got positive results, and this set the stage for phase two.”
Dau said he expected the third phase of exploration to begin in July, and added that the positive results were already drawing attention to the country’s nascent mining sector.
“Once people find out there are deposits here, they’re going to start coming,” he said, “which sets up Cambodia as a big destination for mining companies willing to spend a lot of money.”
Mines and Energy Ministry spokesman Yos Monirath praised the announcement as a good sign for the mining sector’s overall health.
“Yes, this is a positive move forward,” he said.
The Mines and Energy Ministry has in recent years worked with a variety of NGOs and companies to overhaul Cambodia’s mining regulations.
A report released by anti-corruption NGO Transparency International in August last year was generally positive regarding the ministry’s progress on the reforms, while also noting several remaining gaps in the regulatory framework.