Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Miners ask Hun Sen to let them dig deeper

Miners ask Hun Sen to let them dig deeper

Miners ask Hun Sen to let them dig deeper

More than 500 villagers in Mondulkiri’s Chung Phlas’ mining community thumbprinted a letter sent to Prime Minister Hun Sen, and to the Ministry of Mines and Energy and its provincial counterpart, requesting that those holding a community mining licence be allowed to dig below the current limit of 20 metres.

A total of 527 villagers supported the Monday letter asking that they be allowed to dig as deep as 150 metres in order to extract gold.

Oun Chhang Lim, president of the Chung Phlas gold-mining community – composed of more than 30 mining sites – said villagers were having difficulty finding gold at the shallower depth.

“We used to dig more than 20 metres for a long time as our traditional way,” he said. “We could find gold to support our families.”

Last year, Chung Phlas became part of a pilot program to cut down on illegal mining by awarding community mining licences, with the Mines Ministry setting the 20-metre limit for technical and safety reasons, said Meng Saktheara, spokesman for the ministry.

Some villagers already had their licence revoked for digging as deep as 100 metres, he said.

In January, a miner died and another was injured while working at a community mining site in Poutong village in Prey Meas forest. Saktheara said he wasn’t sure whether the ministry had received the request, but added, “Personally, I don’t think it’s possible, technically and legally”, to grant it.

San Darith, a director of the mines department in Mondulkiri, said his department will examine the request.

Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: Armed uprising to be destroyed immediately

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday said if an armed group were to rise up as announced by Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), they would be destroyed immediately. Hun Sen said Rainsy’s announcement of having

  • Sihanoukville to begin road project

    The government will spend $200 million to improve Sihanoukville’s infrastructure. The eight-month project will involve the rebuilding of 34 streets with a total of more than 84km. Pal Chandara, the secretary of state and spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, told The Post

  • Artefact is seized from American auctioneers

    Cambodian and US archaeologists on Thursday discussed the formalities and procedures of returning to Cambodia an artefact which was recently seized by US Homeland Security Investigators (HSI) from an auction house in San Francisco. On Monday, the HSI said US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),

  • New note to mark King’s coronation

    The government announced on Monday that a new 15,000 riel bank-note will be introduced to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the coronation of King Norodom Sihamoni on October 29. Prime Minister Hun Sen said the new note bears the portrait of the King, with an image of