China's Erdos Hongjun planned to build a bauxite processing plant in Kratie province as part of the company’s US$1.5 billion venture in the Kingdom’s northeast, provincial officials said yesterday.
The plant would serve Erdos’s mine in neighbouring Mondulkiri, an exploration licence for which was granted by the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, according to a list of mining companies operating in the province obtained by the Post.
Kong Pisith, director of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy’s Mondulkiri office, confirmed yesterday that Cambodia International Investment Development Erdos Hongjun Aluminum Company had set up an office in the province last year and was exploring a 360-square-kilometre bauxite concession.
He also confirmed Erdos would build the bauxite processing plant in Kratie.
The company is a joint venture between China’s Mongolia Erdos Hongjun Investment Company and the Cambodia International Investment Development Group.
Erdos has been tied to forced evictions at Phnom Penh’s Beoung Kak lake, a venture worth nearly $100 million.
There had been little dialogue between the company and the provincial ministry, Kong Pisith said.
“I don’t know any more about the company because they have never contacted my department,” he said, adding that no disputes had arisen between the company and villagers living on the concession.
The bauxite operation would be the company’s biggest investment in Cambodia. Erdos and its local partner will invest more than $1.5 billion in the bauxite operation, according to an investment filing at the Ordos City Development and Reform Commission in China.
Erdos officials declined to comment yesterday.