Transparency International Cambodia yesterday released a report criticising the Ministry of Mines and Energy over its process for granting mining licences.
The report, Cambodia’ Mineral Exploration Licensing Process: Governance Risk Assessment, said the ministry has streamlined the process to a point of creating regulatory gaps.
“We want to show these problems and urge the government to create strong mechanisms to eliminate or reduce some risks,” said Pich Pisey, a program director at Transparency International Cambodia.
According to the report, the ministry’s current process for granting mineral licences eliminated 14 pre-existing risk assessments from the previous process.
“These risks relate to the understanding of surface rights, sharing of information, timeline of process, application evaluation process, public consultation, beneficial ownership, and approval from other ministries,” the report said.
It also said that the very high risks identified related primarily to the application evaluation process, public consultation, beneficial ownership challenges, and the need for better clarity of guidelines.
“With stronger enforcement from MME’s senior management, we believe that these risks are deemed manageable,” the report said.