Cambodia: Authorities crack down on illegal mining sites in Preah Vihear province; citing a lack of licenses to operate

Author: Koemsoeun Soth, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 18 February 2019

"Preah Vihear authorities crack down on illegal mining sites", 18 February 2019

A Preah Vihear provincial joint force has cracked down on seven illegal mining sites in Romdeng village … and shut down five of the locations while preparing to send two cases to court.

Provincial Department of Mines and Energy director You Chendayuth said that …, a joint force, …, raided seven mines on 12.62ha for operating illegally…

The authorities are preparing court documents regarding two mine owners who did not cooperate but instead escaped the area. The other five owners will be punished in accordance with the law and ordered to apply for licenses to operate officially…

Yos Monirath, the director-general of the General Department of Mineral Resources at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said he could not comment on the case because the department had only produced an internal report while the relevant authorities discussed with the prosecutor on what further action to take.

“So, I cannot give you any more information, but we can confirm that we went down there to examine and crack down on the illegal operations."…

Lor Chann, the provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said that most of the illegal mines in Preah Vihear are in Rovieng district, noting that some trader groups and companies operating there do not have licenses…

“I used to go there and see Vietnamese, Chinese and Cambodian operators and traders. Some mountains are nearly destroyed due to the mining operations and it is causing [negative] effects,” Chann said…

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