Japanese mining company Nittetsu Mining (Cambodia) Ltd on April 25 obtained a three-year copper exploration licence for Stung Treng province, Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Yos Monirath said.
The firm is set to begin exploration early next year and is currently conducting an environmental impact assessment (EIA), Monirath added.
Nittetsu Mining, a subsidiary of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (Jogmec), on August 26 held a workshop in collaboration with the provincial departments of Mines and Energy and Environment to discuss the project’s socio-environmental impact.
The licence allows the firm to explore for copper on 133sq km in Thala Barivat district’s Anlong Chrey commune.
“It [the EIA] begins with cooperation between the company and the ministry. Initial geological surveys found copper ore deposits in the area,” Monirath said.
Ham Kimkong, director of E&A Consultant Co Ltd, which obtained the rights to conduct the EIA for the Nittetsu Mining project, said the assessment will conclude by the end of this year and exploration could start early next year.
In 2016, Jogmec entered into a joint exploration agreement with Canadian mining firm Angkor Gold Corp to explore Angkor’s Oyadao South licence in Ratanakkiri province.
The agreement gave Jogmec the option to acquire 51 per cent of the licence for a total investment of $3 million in exploration expenditures over a three-year period.
In 2010, Jogmec signed an agreement with the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority to study and assess northwestern Cambodia’s onshore oil potential.
Jogmec surveyed the area, which is known as Block XVII and spans across Siem Reap and Preah Vihear provinces.