Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mining ministry hits pay dirt in ’15

Mining ministry hits pay dirt in ’15

Mining ministry hits pay dirt in ’15

The Ministry of Mines and Energy generated a four-fold increase in non-tax revenues from extractive industries last year, collecting just over $17 million, a ministry official said yesterday.

Secretary of State Dith Tina attributed the increase to the introduction of a regulated bidding system for projects, as well as an increase in the royalty from sand dredging and mining operations. While the ministry previously received a $0.1 royalty for every cubic metre of sand collected, last year it raised the royalty to $0.2.

“This new mechanism is one of the reasons why we have increased revenues four times,” said Tina, adding that license fees for mining and dredging operations were also increased

The ministry terminated 24 mining licences and suspended two others last year, he said.

“The ministry has temporarily suspended approval of licenses in order to better manage mineral resources and crack down on illegal sand dredging and mining activities across the country,” he said.

Tina added that the ministry was in the process of drafting the petroleum law and a model petroleum agreement to regulate the working of both upstream and downstream activities in the sector.

“We hope that we will achieve a sustainable, adequate energy supply with stability, quality and lower costs across the country,” he said.

Son Chhay, chief whip of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, expressed skepticism over the ministry’s figures given that firms involved in the sector were earning millions of dollars from their activities.

“This amount is not reflective of the amount that needs to be collected as per the law, and it is not clear how they collected four times more revenue,” he said. “The revenue should be around $80 million.”

He suggested that the Anti-Corruption Unit should investigate the matter further.

The ministry yesterday also terminated the contract of Malaysian firm Resourceful Petroleum Limited for two off-shore oil blocks because of the lack of progress on exploration activities.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Kingdom's trade deal with EU questioned before poll

    A European Union (EU) mission met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as the 28-member bloc monitors an agreement under which Cambodian goods reach the crucial European market tariff-free. Some 10 commissioners are in the Kingdom as part of a seven-day

  • A new carrier takes off in capital

    Cambodia Airways, the latest passenger airline to enter the Kingdom, launched its first domestic flight on Tuesday. Flight KR801, carrying 145 passengers, left the Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:50am and landed in Siem Reap at 10:35am in an Airbus A319. Cambodia Airways marketing and branding