The Ministry of Mines has refused the request of opposition lawmaker and vice chairman of the National Assembly Son Chhay to provide detailed documents about sand exports.
The ministry said on Tuesday there had never been any ban on sand exports, and said some documents Mr Chhay asked for were not within its jurisdiction.
On June 13, Mr Chhay wrote to Mines Minister Suy Sem, asking him to present official documentation about sand exports.
The documents included a copy of the companies trade registration certificate, locations that allowed the collection of sand, copies of the companies business licences and environmental and social impact assessment reports.
Mr Chhay also asked for the total figure of sand exports from November 2016 to the present, export bills, the countries importing sand, the value of exports, and the total amount of royalties.
The ministry responded they had granted licences to export sand to Mong Reththy Group and Sibelco Cambodia Company, renamed Silica Services Cambodge.
Both companies were operating on the mainland, meaning the layer removed was at a depth of between 0.30m and 2m, which did not require separate hydrological and fisheries assessments.
According to the ministry, the total export of sand from November 2016 to June 15, 2017, was 54,100 tonnes by Mong Reththy Group and 104,000 tonnes by Silica Services.
Royalties from sand exports from November 2016 to June 15, 2017 amounted to $473,300.
The ministry said it had sent Mr Chhay some documents, but was responsible only for the management of the technical mining operations and the issuing of export certificates.
“The management of sand for export, is the responsibility of many institutions,” the ministry said. “The Ministry of Mines and Energy does not run the business to sell the sand.”
Mr Chhay was unavailable for comment, however National Assembly member Long Bunny said: “The responses seem to be repeated, because the request for any document in the past has always been answered from ministry to ministry.”