Phak Seangly, The Phnom Penh Post
Mon, 26 October 2015
Officials in Ratanakkiri province are preparing to take action against an illegal mining site that is said to have been operating since at least 2006 as part of ongoing efforts to reform the sector.
Hun Bunthan, director of the province’s Mines and Energy Department, said that he has been given permission from the central ministry to shut down the O’Yadav district gold mining site.
“We have known about it since a month ago. Their activities are getting bigger and bigger – we are preparing an immediate crackdown,” he said.
He added that efforts to stamp out illegal mining in the province saw authorities take action against a gem-mining site in Bakeo district yesterday, seizing two machines.
Chhay Thy, Ratanakkiri’s provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said he visited the O’Yadav site – which he estimated occupies about 3 square kilometres of land – on Friday after receiving reports from the local community about the illegal operation.
“We found between 20 and 30 machines in different places with about 200 migrant Cambodian and Vietnamese workers who were digging and grinding the gold without any interception,” he said. (more…)