Chinese Mining Firm Plans Siem Reap Extraction

A Chinese conglomerate headed by an adviser to Senate President Chea Sim plans to begin extracting gold and copper in Siem Reap province in two months, the firm’s chairman said yesterday. Khmer Holding, a group of companies that claims vast mineral interests in Cambodia, opened an office in Hong Kong last week to drum up investment for their plans in Cambodia. … Cao Yunde- who says he is an adviser to Mr. Sim but that the Senate president is not directly involved in his mining business- said in an interview at his office in Phnom Penh that Khmer Holding already has a licence to extract minerals on 36 square km of land in Siem Reap’s Chi Kreng district. Chea Bunlong, director of the Siem Reap provincial department of Industry, Mines and Energy said he had not heard of Khmer Holdings, or a subsidiary names Khmer First Wealth Holding, which company literature says holds the Chi Kreng mining licence. … Chi Kreng district police cheif Toch Sakal said that Nim Meng was the only company he was aware of operating in the area, but they had since ceased operations. “They stopped and I’m not sure who they transferred [the project] to,” he said.