Kampot Mining Concession Open to Bidders

The government has opened up a tender to companies interested in applying for a mining concession in Kampot, with calls being made for consideration to be given to the environment
Motorists drive past the Ministry of Mines and Energy in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Motorists drive past the Ministry of Mines and Energy in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

The Ministry of Mines and Energy is seeking companies to apply for an exploration license for a 155-hectare mining concession in Kampot as social analysts urge the government to find a quality company that will not impact the environment and community.

Mine resources have been discovered in ​​Phnom Tvea Pram Bei and Phnom Kandal Waterfall in Taken Commune, Chhouk District, Kampot Province, and the Ministry of Mines and Energy is requesting mining concessions, it posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday.

Local and international companies​ interested in mining in Kampot can request for "Exploration License Application" at the Department of Industry, Mineral Resources Business of the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

“The completed exploration license application must be accompanied by the relevant documents and reports and placed in a sealed envelope with the "Competition Application" on the back and handed over to the "OWSO" of the Ministry of Mines,” said the Ministry of Mines and Energy on November 18.

It added, “Opening of a mining concession for applying for a 155-hectare exploration license in Chhouk district, Kampot province. [The] closing date for applications is December 30, 2022 at 5pm.”

Pech Pisey, Executive Director of Transparency International Cambodia, told Kiripost on Wednesday that while this is a good move, it is key that the government is more selective on companies that qualify and ensure the process is conducted with transparency and competitiveness.

“The curious thing is that we have to guarantee that the competitors can compete with one another in a fair way by evaluating their work capacity and technical ability,” he said.

He believes it can attract more investments and lead to economic growth through open doors for mining in Cambodia. But he hopes that the process of mining will not harm the environment and profits will be pumped back into developing the community.

He added, “We also have to evaluate the environmental impact. In addition, if possible we should evaluate the economic and social aspects of surrounding communities too. And, if possible, the government should share some profit rates that come from the mining business to citizens to develop the surrounding concession area.”