Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers allege illicit mining by Chinese, Vietnamese firms

Villagers allege illicit mining by Chinese, Vietnamese firms

A boat allegedly used to illegally mine gold floats on Sesan River in Ratanakkiri
A boat allegedly used to illegally mine gold floats on Sesan River in Ratanakkiri’s Taveng district last week. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Villagers allege illicit mining by Chinese, Vietnamese firms

More than 600 families of ethnic Tumpuon villagers from Taveng district on Monday filed complaints with Ratanakkiri authorities and rights group Adhoc seeking a halt to illegal mining of gold by two companies.

Chhay Thy, Adhoc provincial coordinator, said yesterday that community representative Traing Thaim, 28, submitted a 60-page letter with 719 thumbprints and signatures to his office on Monday morning, asking for intervention to stop Chinese firm Discovery Investment Co Ltd and an unidentified Vietnamese company from pumping gold from Sesan River.

“The companies got licences to operate sand dredgers, but instead they’ve set up gold mines,” Thy said.

According to Thaim, the firms began setting up their operations in August and September last year. They started mining this month and already, he said, the effects have been seen in nine villages.

“It spoils water and we cannot use it, animals cannot drink the water [and] the riverbank is collapsing.”

Besides Adhoc, the community also submitted a complaint to authorities, Thaim said.

Muong Pang, Taveng district governor, said he had received the complaint but believed the villagers are misinformed.

“Our villages are worried when the see the ferries and they think it pumps gold, but in fact it pumps sand,” he said.

Neither company could be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Twenty years after Pol Pot died a broken man, his memory looms large

    Two decades have passed, but Mea Chron still stands by Pol Pot. Most days he also stands by the mass murderer’s cremation site, keeping guard in the Khmer Rouge’s last stronghold of Anlong Veng. Pol Pot, the widely reviled despot who spearheaded the

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • ‘Trouble’ foreseen in Khmer New Year almanac

    At 9:12am on Saturday, Cambodia’s devout can expect the arrival of Moha Thorathevey, an angel on a peacock holding a trident in one hand and an auspicious serrated wheel in the other. The angel, who has a liking for water hyacinths, will usher in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the