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Bids sought for coal mining licences

Sorn Sarath / Khmer Times Share:
A power plant coal yard. Supplied

The Mine and Energy Ministry has called on local and foreign companies to bid for the Kingdom’s coal mining exploration licences in Oddar Meanchey.

The announcement wants both local and foreign private companies to apply for a licence to explore coal mines within a 200 square kilometre area in the province’s Ou Svay commune in Trapeang Prasat district,.

“Both local and foreign companies who are interested in mining can now apply for a mining exploration licence at the ministry of mines and energy,” the announcement read.

Yos Monirath, the director-general of mines under the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said yesterday that the announced area used to be secured by one company previously, but the company could not finish the work because their exploration licence had expired.

“We learned that the area has more potential for coal and that’s why the ministry has called on local and foreign companies to bid for exploration,” he said, adding that currently Cambodia has found two locations for coal mining in Stung Treng and Oddar Meanchey.

According to Monirath, a Cambodian-Chinese joined venture has already been operating a coal mining business in Oddar Meanchey that has supplied some fuel to the local coal-fired plant.

He said the government plans to build another 200 megawatt coal power plant so more extraction of coal is needed to meet local demand.

“We know that we don’t have enough coal so we need to find more,” he said. adding that the concern over the environmental impact would be reduced because of new clean coal technology.

Currently, a total of 39 companies are in possession of mining exploration licences in Cambodia.

The government collected more than $20 million in non-tax revenues from the mining and oil sector last year, an increase of around 10 percent on 2018.

Extraction from the first gold mines in Cambodia will be made this year by Renaissance Minerals, a subsidiary of Australia-listed Emerald Resources in Mondulkiri province because more than 40 exploration licences for mines including gold have been issued to private companies.

According to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the application form must be submitted to the ministry before May 15.

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