Australian mining company Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd is seeking to expand their gold mining operations beyond Mondulkiri province, with the Ministry of Mines and Energy urging them to look into Tbong Khmum’s Memot district.

Minister of Mines and Energy Keo Rattanak last week said that the company’s operations in Mondulkiri employ more than 200 people with decent salaries and insurance, pay regular taxes to the state.

“In this regard, we encourage this company to expand their operation to Memot district in Tbong Khmum province. Following their success in Mondulkiri, the company is looking into expanding their business,” he said.

The minister stressed that only companies that follow the law will get the ministry’s encouragement. If any company posed risks to the environment, or failed to obey the law, the ministry would take action and shut down their business.

He said there are currently nine gold mining companies with licenses, with Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd assessed as the best in terms of compliance.  

“It was only after years of study that Renaissance Minerals started investing in this sector. They covered a large area of feasibility study, but later reduced their explorations after a thorough study,” he added.

Mining site of Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd in Okvau region of the Chung Phlas commune in Keo Seima district in June. MONDULKIRI INFORMATION DEPARTMENT

According to the mines ministry, Renaissance Minerals refines gold for export, which is later processed into 99.99 per cent pure gold. 

The previous government said that Cambodia earns $185 million a year from the gold mining industry, around $40 million of it through tax and royalties.

The ministry stated earlier that Renaissance Minerals produced around 3 tonnes of gold a year for the first eight years of their operations in the Okvau region, within the eastern corridor of the Chung Phlas commune of Keo Seima district.