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Hopes for a glittering future: Ministry

Chhut Bunthoeun / Share:
A father and son seek the fortune in a man-made mine in Mondulkiri provience. Khmer Times

Renaissance Minerals, a subsidiary of Australia-listed Emerald Resources, is scheduled next year to begin mining gold in Cambodia’s Mondulkiri province, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

The government granted the firm an Industrial Mining Licence covering 11.5 square kilometres which allows for the development of the Okvau Gold Project. The Mining Licence has an initial 15-year period with the right to two renewals of up to 10 years for each renewal, in accordance with Cambodian laws.

The firm has also already completed a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on the development of the project, which it said demonstrated robust potential to produce approximately 106,000 ounces of gold per annum on average over seven years from a single open pit.

In its quarterly report published last month, the company said it has successfully completed the resettlement of 62 local families and site works to remove abandoned structures away from the Okvau Mining Licence area.

“The installation of a security fence around the Project Development Area (“PDA”) is also completed. It is to ensure the safety of personnel, visitors and wildlife,” it added.

Construction of a 35-tonne bridge across the Prek Te River has now been completed with substantial completion of upgrades to the existing 50 kilometres of dirt roads and finalisation of the construction of 14km of a new road that will allow for all-year access to the Okvau site.

The Ministry said this year it has set a new policy aimed at strengthening and increasing revenue in the extractive industry.

Currently, there are about 30 companies, the majority foreign, that have been given exploration licences in Cambodia, according to the ministry, adding that a few of them have already found the potential for investment after initial explorations.

Once a company finds scope, such as a gold seam, it will then be required to undertake an environment impact assessment.

Meng Saktheara, secretary of state at the ministry, said Cambodia will become much more attractive to investors once it establishes gold mining and oil extraction operations.

“Once we start producing gold and crude oil, more international companies will want to invest in our mining sector,” Meng said.

Another gold mine company, Angkor Gold, located in Rattanakiri province, is likely to be the second company to start gold mining in the country because it has completed many steps of the regulatory process.

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