Cambodia’s gold just like other minerals is largely untapped. However, this seems to be changing given the recent surge in the interest from international community in the mining sector here.
The Royal government has recognized that gold mining is key to the country’s economic growth and has collaborated with a number of major international and local companies in opening up the mining sector to outside interests. This comes with the change in the mining policy of the country, which now focuses on improving production of minerals so as to enhance economic growth.
Historic and Artisanal Mining
The long history of artisanal gold mining in the country is proof enough for the existence of gold in Cambodia. The history of gold mining in parts of the countries goes back to the 12th century. Despite this long history, not much modern gold mining using modern tools and machines has been done in the country.
Most of the gold being mined in Cambodia is found by artisanal miners using very primitive methods to extract fine gold from the earth.
This is good news to anyone interested in investing in the country’s gold mining as it shows the great potential the country has. Given that no much of commercial gold mining has been done in the past century, most of the country’s gold resources are still intact.
Recent Developments in Cambodia Mines
Today there are several exploration activities that are underway in many places spread across the country. This is because the preliminary reports show that the country’s gold resources are widely distributed within the country are quite rich in some place to warrant commercial mining.
This means that there are a lot of areas to be explored and this gives room for more investors to come in. Already Southern Gold Limited and Angkor Gold have recorded some success in their exploration activities and this points to great possibilities of major gold finds in the country.
Although some may point to the factor that the country has no major history of commercial gold mining, the artisanal gold mining is sufficient proof to the potential for Cambodia as a gold producer. And with large scale production, there will undoubtedly be larger yields in coming years.
Largest Gold Mines
So far, the leading commercial gold works is the Okvau Working deposit owned by OZ Minerals. The Okvau working deposits was discovered in 2010 and has produced great optimism about the potential of gold deposits in the country. It is located in Mondulkiri province at about 260km to the North east of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh and it is estimated to contain about 600,000 ounces of gold.
OZ mineral is still exploring the area for further gold deposits before embarking on the mining process. This is because a survey suggests that further drilling of the area could reveal more gold deposits.
The Phum Syau gold deposit owned by the Angkor gold corp is likely to be the first commercial gold mine in Cambodia. This follows the revelation that in 2014 the Royal government of Cambodia through the ministry of mines and energy granted the Angkor Gold Corp the permission conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the site with the aim of developing the gold mine.
Upon the completion of the EIA the government will then issue mining license for the mine to be developed. The Phum Syarung mine lies on a 12km2 block that has both the Angkor’s Phum Syarung and Mesco Gold’s Blue lizards prospects.
In addition to the Phum Syau gold deposit, the Angkor Gold company has seven other gold exploration licenses in Cambodia that covers an area of about 1448km2 and which the company has been exploring since 2012. So far the company has drilled about 148 NQ core holes and collected over 20,000 soil samples for analysis.
The company has recorded gold deposits in several places and is now conducting an analysis of the gold materials in these areas to determine the viability of commercial gold mining in such locations.
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