Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Illegal mine in Prey Veng finally called to account



Illegal mine in Prey Veng finally called to account

Illegal mine in Prey Veng finally called to account

A team of Mines and Energy Ministry officials today will inspect an illegal soil-extraction site in Prey Veng that had operated unimpeded despite the knowledge of the provincial mines department.

Ministry spokesman Meng Saktheara yesterday said the activity was halted on Monday following complaints from nearby villagers, whose farmland was at risk of erosion and collapse from the digging.

Saktheara said the provincial department had requested operator Keo Sovann to get a licence several times, but Sovann failed to do so and continued to operate illegally in Pea Reang’s Prey Pnov commune.

“The provincial department claims it’s private property and that is why we sent people from the ministry to check on the ground,” he said, adding that the operation seemed “larger than a family-scale [mine] as defined under the law”.

If it’s determined the operation was for commercial purposes, officials will take legal action, Satkheara said. That would also trigger an investigation to determine “why the department didn’t take legal action from the beginning”.

According to a report submitted to the ministry from the provincial department, Sovann had extracted 5,764 cubic metres of soil, but the department said it had already facilitated a settlement between villagers and Sovann. However, Saktheara said settlements wouldn’t exempt Sovann from potential legal action.

Phan Try, an official with the Prey Veng provincial administration, said provincial officials gave Sovann four warnings.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian

  • Plastic-to-rice initiative transforms waste into bricks

    Volunteers in Kampong Khlaing commune of Siem Reap province’s Sotr Nikum district have been collecting plastic waste to use as a raw material for the production of bricks and clemence tiles. The volunteers are hoping that, in addition to helping clean up the environment,