Copper Firm Yet To Conduct Impact Assessment, Officials Say

Though the government announced this week it was set to receive a mining license, the mining company of an RCAF officer has conducted neither a feasibility study nor an environmental impact assessment for its project, officials in Siem Reap province said yesterday.

Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh announced the firm’s plans on Monday and said a company was due to receive a mining license “next week” for a mining project in Chi Kreng district.

On Tuesday, it was unclear whether any an environmental assessment of the project had been undertaken, as is required before minerals can be mined. However, provincial officials said yesterday that there had been no impact assessment as yet.

The director of Siem Reap’s industry department, Khlauk Sina, said the firm behind the deal, Nem Meng Group, a joint Cambodian-Chinese venture partly owned by Major General Nem Meng, had yet to complete an impact assessment.

“It is in the process of seeking an extraction license from the government, but an EIA has not yet been conducted,” he said.

Mr Sina said he had not been informed about next week’s signing, as announced by the Mr Prasidh, but suspected that the document would only be a memorandum of understanding expressing the government’s support for the project to move forward and not the extraction license itself.

“The firm is still required to conduct an EIA,” he said.

Lon Kanal, director of the province’s environment department, said yesterday that he knew nothing about the firm.

“I don’t know about this copper firm,” he said, “not even when this company arrived in Siem Reap or of any feasibility study…. I have not been informed.

“I am pretty sure that no EIA has been conducted for this copper company,” he added, insisting that the firm would not be issued an extraction license without them.

Contact information for Maj Gen Meng was unavailable.

Suy Sem, minister of industry, mines and energy, said he was too busy to speak with a reporter yesterday, while Yos Monirath, director of the minerals department, declined to speak by telephone.

“The Cambodia Daily already wrote a few articles about this. Why do you just call me to get more information?” he said.

 

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