Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kratie authorities clamp down on eight illegal gold mining operations

Kratie authorities clamp down on eight illegal gold mining operations

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kratie authorities crack down on illegal mining at Kratie province’s Sambor district. Photo supplied

Kratie authorities clamp down on eight illegal gold mining operations

Eight goldmines in O’Tron village in Kratie province’s Sambor district were filled in by a provincial sub-committee taskforce on Friday and Saturday as part of a crackdown on the illegal extraction of natural resources.

Kratie provincial deputy governor Khan Chamnan, who led the task force, told The Post on Monday that his team had previously warned locals to stop all illegal mining operations, with 15 families given a week to do so.

“The deadline passed several weeks ago, and our team found eight different locations where villagers did not follow through with their agreements, so our team inspected and shut down the illegal mining operations,” Chamnan said.

In 2011, Chinese company Xing Yuan Kang Yeak Co purchased 28sq km from the government, including the area in Sambor district, with a licence to operate goldmines.

It temporarily ceased operations some three years ago after a mineshaft collapse in which four workers were killed and many others suffered serious injuries, Chamnan said.

In mid-2018, the firm began preparing to resume operations and requested intervention from authorities to stop illegal mining in the company’s economic land concession or it would launch legal proceedings against those who did so.

Sok Kiriroth, director of the provincial mine and energy department, who was involved in the crackdown, said authorities used two excavators and a bulldozer to fill in the illegal shafts.

“During the operation in Kbal Damrei commune’s O’Tron village, authorities completely filled in eight illegal mines and 12 ponds used by local illegal miners to clean [semi-precious mineral] malachite."

“Authorities will take stronger action if the company sues the villagers,” he said.

Khin Leng, a member one of the 15 local families who mined in the area, told The Post that only a small group of villagers had mined the company’s shafts to help support their families.

“The mining contributed income to my family, but we cannot violate the ban because we operated illegally as the mines belonged to the company, which had obt ained a mining licence from the government,” he said.

The company brought three containers of equipment to the area over the weekend in preparation for reopening the mines, said O’Tron village chief Sok Yoeun on Monday.

He said villagers would be able to work in the mines when the company resumed operations.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM orders immediate action against ‘sexy’ live streamers

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered immediate action against women who live stream their sales pitches on Facebook wearing revealing clothing. The prime minister said the practice erodes traditional Cambodian values and disgraces women. Hun Sen gave the order to officials attending the Cambodian

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Tourist area greenlit in Sihanoukville

    The National Committee for Coastal Management and Development will coordinate with relevant ministries over the establishment of a billion-dollar tourist area named Neak Reach in Preah Sihanouk province after it was proposed by the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and

  • Organic vegetable retailer unveils QR code scheme for origin source

    Organic vegetable retailer Natural Agriculture Village has introduced QR codes on its product packaging, which will allow consumers to see where their produce comes from. Natural Agriculture Village president Bun Sieng, who is also a member of local distributor Green Gold, told The Post on

  • Hun Sen defends decision to dock Westerdam cruise ship

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday hit back at critics who say he allowed the Westerdam cruise ship to dock in Sihanoukville for political reasons. Speaking at an annual gathering of the Ministry of Interior, Hun Sen said he acted to avert a humanitarian catastrophe

  • Cool heads will defeat Covid-19

    Since Covid-19 was first reported as a world health issue, cruise ships have been the worst to suffer after airlines. The experiences of those who were initially trapped on the Covid-19-stricken Diamond Princess are unimaginable. The cruise ship was rejected from docking at one