By Kali Kotoski
Phnom Penh, May 23, 2016
The Ministry of Mines and Energy signed joint prakas with the Ministry of Environment to simplifying the environmental impact assessment (EIA) requirements for artisanal and small-scale mining practices.
The law has set up a transitional regime for EIA compliance, based on the scale and scope of existing mining operations in attempt to formalise the sector without causing undue burden to the extractive industry.
Mining sites less than 10 hectares are exempt from EIA requirements and need to only file an environmental protection pledge with the Ministry of Environment, while those that are less than 1 hectare are under the watch of provincial authorities. Mining operations from 10 to 40 hectares must begin an environmental impact study, but are not restricted from continuing operations.
Anything above 40 hectares and deemed “likely to cause significant environmental impacts”, must conduct a full EIA assessment before given a mining licence.