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Gold Mine License Suspended Again

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A Vietnamese-owned gold mine in Battambang province’s Phnom Prek district failed to acquire an operating license from the Ministry of Mines and Energy yesterday after failing to meet their guidelines, according to officials.
This comes after the ministry temporarily suspended the company’s license in February 2015, giving the company time to make the necessary upgrades to reach the ministry’s technical operating standards.
Meng Saktheara, a spokesman for the ministry, spoke to Khmer Times yesterday to outline why the proposal to get an operating license for Phu Yang Cambodia was rejected.
“Based on inspections, the company met some of the requirements, but it did not meet all of them comprehensively, so the ministry decided to continue the temporary suspension of the license,” Mr. Saktheara said.
He added that before the current suspension, the $800,000 investment company had been granted a license to prepare a business plan, assemble machinery and build a site for workers for almost five years, but the process of preparing the company has been found to not be in line with the required technical standards.
Mr. Saktheara also said the company recently asked the ministry to re-start operations after it thought it completed all of the requirements.
“Before we suspended [the license] temporarily, and now the ministry will continue this temporary suspension to force the company to meet the ministry’s requirements,” Mr. Saktheara said.
The company failed to prepare a technical standard mine design, as well as a production plan every year for the ministry to check. There was also no environmental impact assessment submitted to the Ministry of  Environment, with Mr. Saktheara adding: “That part is what the company did not do well, not having reliable information because it lacked a comprehensive study in the mine well.”
Mr. Saktheara also spoke of how in the first five months of 2016, the licenses of five other companies, most of them Chinese, for studying the feasibility of mining in Cambodia, were revoked after the companies failed to follow guidelines.
No new companies were granted a license within the same timeframe.

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