An Australian who is deeply involved in the development of Cambodia’s mining industry is Richard Stanger, president of The Cambodian Association for Mining and Exploration Companies.
Stanger predicts the beginning of gold production coming from Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri provinces in the next two years.
“I foresee the beginnings of gold production within the next two years.”
In an interview on Wednesday, Stanger said he’s seen an increase in interest from outside companies during the last year.
“During the last year we’ve had visitors from Australia, Canada, Russia, China and India and elsewhere, without previous experience in the country, and all have gone away impressed and willing to get involved,” he said.
“Cambodia is a good little country for investment and it’s doable. The government is very open for investment and development and encourages it. The Minister of industry, Mines and Energy, HE Suy Sem, is keen to see the sustainable development of minerals in Cambodia, for the development of the country.”
While he works as CEO of Liberty Mining, Stanger also promotes Cambodia’s mining industry through his role as CAMEC president.
“The best thing about CAMEC is it was set up to represent the industry and promote Cambodia as a place to invest, serve as a liaison between the industry and the government, and as a forum for discussion amongst members.”
CAMEC’s membership is made up of mining exploration companies as well as service industry members such as drilling companies, unexploded ordnance clearance companies and consulting companies.
Stanger said Australia had a lot to offer Cambodia in mining technology and experience, which would be of benefit to Cambodia.
“I’m an Australian and I’d like to point out that the largest part of Australia’s economy is mining, and having come from that background I see great potential in Cambodia.
“The good thing about Australian companies is they now understand Cambodia, whereas when I first came here Cambodia was a mystery. That has changed. It is now on the radar, on the map as a place to come and look for minerals and invest.”
He said Cambodia has gold, coal, iron ore, bauxite and copper.
“I’ve also got my foot in Laos and in Australia. I’m involved in some projects in those countries.”
When he first came to Cambodia in 2004, the mining industry was completely undeveloped.
“Today what I see is a very rapidly developing small country. We can only imagine what it will look like in five more years’ time from now, because before our eyes it is becoming quite a place to be and be part of.”
Stanger said Prime Minister Hun Sen realises the importance of mineral development and recognises the role that countries like Australia play.
“The prime minister encourages and supports our active participation.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart Alan Becker at [email protected]