Key Reforms
No.
Reform
Description/Activities
Status
Reference
1
Sand dredging industry
a. Reviewing license (unregulated dredging): there are 142 sand dredging companies operating in Cambodia, but only 37 of them have licenses. MME reviewed and ended license agreement and fine the companies that do not follow the license agreement.
b. Conducting impact assessment of sand dredging: MME has put a hold on new applications for licenses to conduct sand-dredging operations in the country's rivers and lakes in order to study the environmental and social impact of a practice that has caused deadly incidents of river bank collapse. In the past the ministry only conducted environmental and social impact studies in specific cases where companies had requested to dredge, but now it will conduct an industry-wide assessment to ensure all companies operate sustainably.
c. Setting sand price cap: the ministry justified its price regulation measures to prevent the formation of a sand cartel that would overcharge a price sensitive construction industry that had previously mourned the increased cost of sand in May, after dredging was halted until environmental impact studies could be conducted. While the companies have to sell sand to depots for a fixed $3.30, depots can charge the end customer up to $4.50 per cubic meter. If any company in the supply chain increases the prices over the caps it would lose the license.
d. New process for license: the bidding process was transparent because the ministry disclosed the prices companies bided with. The dredging license lasts two years. The companies must also put down a $50,000 deposit for the license. If the companies perform irregular or illegal acts during the two-year the license, the ministry would confiscate both the license and the deposit. The Ministry of Mines and Energy started issuing sand-dredging licenses in 2006.
Completed (reviewing license and impact assessment done; sand price set to 4.5$ per cubic meter; new process for license implemented)
Radio Free Asia, 25 March 2015


Phnom Penh Post, 25 June 2015



Radio Free Asia, 3 April 2015

2
Decentralize licensing miners
MME has decided to decentralize the process for small-scale miners and dredgers to obtain licenses, with the government now permitting provincial authorities to directly issue licenses to operators without ministerial oversight. Under the new regulations, small-scale mining operations are defined as: open mines that take up no more than 1 hectare of land and dig no more than 5 meters, and underground miners who operate at a depth of no more than 20 meters under the surface. Provincial mining authorities will have the right to monitor, review and evaluate artisanal mining operations once they are registered. Each provincial mining director will be required to send a license request to the provincial governor,” he said. “If a governor does not agree [to grant the license], the director will have to report to the ministry for a final decision. The main focus is to facilitate local miners to apply for a license.
Completed (decision to transfer authority over artisanal miners to provincial level was issued on April 3, 2015.
Phnom Penh Post, 8 April 2015
3
Illegal mining crackdown
612 military police was requested to aid the National Police, Ministry of Mines and Energy authorities and court officials as they inspect and crack down on illegal mining in all the provinces.
On going (Since January 8, three groups have finished inspecting 10 provinces.)
Phnom Penh Post, 5 March 2015

4
Mining community
Cambodia's first formal artisanal mining community has been established in Mondulkiri province as part of ongoing government efforts to legalize the activities of small-scale miners.
On going (one community established)
Phnom Penh Post, 28 April 2015
5
Oil price setting
The Ministry of Mines and Energy began studying and preparing regulations relevant to oil price management in Cambodia as a mean to set changing prices of gasoline in accordance with that on the international markets.
In progress (currently preparing regulations)
Phnom Penh Post, 28 January 2015

6
Safety measure
In response to a series of petrol fires and explosions that damaged property and claimed lives, as part of a new safety initiative, MME will require all petrol station owners to present a certificate acknowledging that their businesses follow risk-prevention protocols. Large fuel stations that handle more than 200 liters of petrol are required to show proof of proper equipment, including electrical, ventilation and oil-flow systems, and the presence of fire extinguishers. Gas stations built before November 25 have to apply for certification from the ministry within six months, and will be given until 2019 to implement the safety arrangements.
Completed
Phnom Penh Post, 24 March 2015

Prakas 105
7
Mining Law
Cambodia's new mining law is on track for adoption by the end of this year and will introduce a raft of reforms to the sector although the country’s mining tax will likely remain the same. It will add on to the existing Law on Mineral Resource Management and Exploitation from 2001. The law aims to introduce predictability and transparency in the Kingdom’s mining sector, which has long struggled against illegal mining and idle mining licensees who spend years occupying potentially valuable space without extracting. Non-tax “incentives” would likely be part of the new law, such as beefing up Cambodia’s scattered database of maps and statistics on what lies below the ground. Modeled on the West Australian Mining Act, the new law aims to level the playing field for mining companies by replacing the current contractual system for getting mining and exploration licenses with a concession system. Instead of having to negotiate for rights, under the new law all companies seeking to mine in Cambodia will have the same rights. The regulations will also penalize companies that misbehave.
Completed
Phnom Penh Post, 13 July 2015


Khmer Times, 06 July 2015

8
Extractive Industry Governance Forum (EIGF)
As one of the reform agendas in Extractive Industry, Ministry of Mine and Energy officially launched Extractive Industry Governance Forum (EIGF) on January 31, 2017. EIGF is a platform aims at promoting a multi-stakeholder dialogue in policy and governance of the extractive sector in Cambodia. Multi-stakeholders including government, industry and civil society are allowed to join and discuss key policy issues in Extractive Industry.
On-going
(Forum organized every three months)
EIGF on January 31, 2017.
9
Managing mineral exports
The ministry aims to maximize the price of mineral exports in order to improve the economy by setting basic principles in product evaluation before exporting, and determining conditions of the authorization to export mineral products.
Mineral products can be exported under such conditions as:
  • The long and short-term socio-economic benefits are greater than local treatment and processing of mineral products.
  • Local treatment and processing of mineral products cause harmful effects to the environment and society.
  • There is an exceeding amount of mineral products than the needs for local industry, and those types of mineral products are not forbidden for exportation by the royal government.
Completed
Sub-Decree 195
10
Decentralization of the management and collection of revenue
The ministry has entrusted the responsibility of managing and collecting revenue from granting license​​ and transactional fine to the municipal and provincial department of mines and energy.
Completed
Prakas 137