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Transitional Framework for EIA Compliance in Small Scale Mining Project

Amid the uncertainty and complexity caused by current efforts of the Ministry of Environment in reformulating a new legal framework for Environmental Impact Assessment in all industry projects, both ministries, the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Environment has co-signed an agreement to set out a simplified framework for EIA requirement in artisanal and small scale mining projects.

A joint Prakas between the two ministries was released in April 26, 2016 and set conditions how mining license applicant must fulfill prior a mining license can be granted in order to comply with EIA requirement.

This joint Prakas sets a transitional regime for EIA compliance in the case of artisanal and small scale mining. Not all mining project will be required to conduct EIA. The EIA compliance will be dependent on scale of mining operation as follow:

  1. For proposed mining operation involving a total land area of not more than 1 ha, the applicant is only required to have a commitment letter of environmental protection pledge agreed by provincial department of environment to be attached in the application for mining license, except mining operation is likely to cause significant impacts or is located inside protected areas or areas designated as sensitive by the department or the ministry.
  2. For proposed mining operation involving a total land area of more than 1 ha but less than 10 ha, the applicant is only required to have a commitment letter of environmental protection pledge agreed by the Ministry of Environment to be attached in the application for mining license, except mining operation is likely to cause significant impacts or is located inside protected areas or areas designated as sensitive by the ministry.
  3. For proposed mining operation involving a total land area of more than 10 ha but less than 40 ha, the applicant is required to prepare an initial environmental impacts assessment report approved by the Ministry of Environment to be attached in the application for mining license, except mining operation is likely to cause significant impacts or is located inside protected areas or areas designated as sensitive by the ministry.
  4. For proposed mining operation involving a total land area of more than 40 ha or operation that is likely to cause significant impacts, the applicant is required to prepare a full environmental impacts assessment report approved by the Ministry of Environment to be attached in the application for mining license. Mining operation located inside protected areas designated by the ministry will not be allowed.

This seems to be a transitional arrangement between the two ministries to simplify the process of getting MoE’s approval before a mining license could be issued. However, there is no clear indication on when such arrangement will be expired.

Detailed text of the Joint Prakas in Khmer language is downloadable from this link:

MMEJoinPrakasMoEEIA

One thought on “Transitional Framework for EIA Compliance in Small Scale Mining Project

  1. Pingback: Mekong Eye News Digest: 25 May 2016 | Mekong Eye

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