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Gem miners ordered to halt excavation by gov’t

Gem miners ordered to halt excavation by gov’t

The Pailin provincial governor has ordered a gem-mining firm to stop excavating land in a conservation area, local officials said yesterday. According to Lim Bou, chief of Boya-kha commune in Pailin town, local authorities received the order after it came to light that a firm was illegally mining in the Samlaut Protected Area.

“The firm’s mining exploration causes bad pollution of water that affects villagers and the environment. [And] its [mining] licence has expired,” Bou said, reading from the letter.

The company, identified as Moro-dok Gem, according to Bou, had a valid mining licence that expired in June of this year.

The Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, the first organisation to implement a conservation program in the area, confirmed yesterday that it had observed the company’s actions. “They’ve entered the protected area,” CEO Stephan Bognar said.

The provincial governor could not be reached.

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