Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government targets miners

Government targets miners

Government targets miners

090429_14.jpg
090429_14.jpg

Ministry of Mines targets companies in Mondulkiri province that have failed to update officials on mining activities in official announcement in the press

The BHP Billiton’s office in Phnom Penh. BHP is among those that have updated the governemnt. Sovann Philong

TWELVE international mining companies prospecting in Mondulkiri province have come under the government's spotlight, according to officials in the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, who said they are requesting each come forward to account for its activities in Cambodia.

"We need to get information about them, and what is going on with those companies," said Ith Praing, secretary of state at the ministry, adding that the government was unsure whether the companies had withdrawn from the country because of the global economic crisis, or whether they were merely not reporting their activities to the government. "We don't know what they have done or whether they have yet to start operations," he added.

Ith Praing said it was important for companies to keep officials notified of their operations so they can monitor whether they are fulfilling the terms of government concession agreements.

Kong Pisith, director of the Department of Industry, Mines and Energy in Mondulkiri province, said the 12 mining companies - who the government addressed in a newspaper announcement Monday - had been requested to submit reports within 15 days.

"All of the companies have business licences, but they have never reported to us what they are doing," he said. "We want each of the mining companies to set up representative offices in our province so it will be easier to gather information about their development."

We want each of the mining companies to set up representative offices.

He said that some of the companies had supplied the government with false addresses in Phnom Penh and that the ministry had not been informed of the results of their prospecting and research. "We have no right to cancel the contract or licence but will inform the ministry so they can consider whether to make a decision," Kong Pisith added.

Despite having licences, he said, only three companies have worked with authorities in Mondulkiri to establish their prospecting operations - BHP Billiton, Metal Group and Southern Gold. Of the others, the China Forwin Investment Co Ltd reportedly withdrew from Cambodia after a Chinese expert died of malaria, Kong Piseth said, while authorities have not met anyone from the other eight firms.

Thon Virak, deputy director general of the General Foreign Trade Department, said Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh wanted updates on mining in Mondulkiri, as the government sought to step up development of the Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos border region.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said