The country's nascent mining sector is encountering both challenges and new opportunities as large-scale mining operations come in. Last month, four companies were granted licences to mine for minerals and precious metals in parts of Kampot, Mondulkiri, Kampong Thom and Kratie provinces. The national government considers that minerals, along with oil and natural gas, are critical for Cambodia's development.
- Mining concessions could be challenged by local communities when encroachment on community lands is suspected.
- The environment for foreign investment is likely to improve as the government reforms commercial law.
- A growing mining sector will need new transportation and electricity infrastructure.
- Corruption and state administrative capacity constraints could undermine mining sector development.
- Cambodia could lose out to more established ASEAN mining competitors such as Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines.