Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dredging by the numbers

Dredging by the numbers

A barge filled with sand travels through Koh Kong province on Saturday. Photo supplied
A barge filled with sand travels through Koh Kong province on Saturday. Photo supplied

Dredging by the numbers

Analytical figures posted anonymously on the Facebook page of the pro-transparency group Integrity Cambodia on Saturday estimates that if the UN data on sand exports to Singapore are accurate, Cambodia missed out on about $35 million in potential revenue.

The UN data show that since 2007, some $752 million in sand was imported by Singapore from Cambodia. The Kingdom has only reported about $5 million in exports to the small island nation during the same time period, prompting accusations of corruption and mismanagement in the much-maligned sector.

The $35 million estimate consists of $9 million in royalties, $15 million from tax on exports and about $11 million from tax on profits, the figures say. But the calculation uses several assumptions, including that the price of sand in Cambodia is one fifth of the price of sand in Singapore.

An anonymous contributor to the page characterised the numbers as a way to spark “critical thinking” on the potential for lost state revenue.

Meng Saktheara, spokesman with the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said the ministry had not been aware of the page, but said he had looked into the figures.

The calculation approach as presented “is rightly depicting Cambodia fiscal regime on this business”, he said. It’s a good way to “roughly estimate” potential state revenue, he added, while noting that the data wasn’t perfect.

“Based on my experiences and understanding of the global mining sector, the calculation on that page gives a good indication, although it has so many assumptions,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ministry on Saturday suspended the sand-dredging activities of Udom Seima Company around Koh Kong province’s Koh Smach island after it received a complaint that the company was operating too close to the riverbank, Dith Tina, secretary of state for the Ministry of Mines and Energy, confirmed.

Following the complaint, the ministry sent officials to check the area and found that the company’s operations were indeed too close to the riverbank, Tina said. “We ordered them to stop,” he said.

The ministry was waiting for a report from its provincial counterpart in Koh Kong to determine whether the company violated the provisions in its licence, he added. Tina also said the ministry had issued a letter to the company to suspend its export activity to review their contract information.

Sun Mala, an activist with the environmental NGO Mother Nature, said that on Thursday and Friday, activists with the organisation and a number of villagers observed Udom Seima was operating too close to a nearby mangrove forest, causing some parts to collapse.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Cambodian woman graduates from Japan’s NDA military academy

    A few years ago, Meach Sithyka Jessica became the first-ever Cambodian woman to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, and since then her courage and determination has served as an inspiration for other Cambodian women. Similarly, Ly Chansocheata became the first Cambodian

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with