By: Taing Vida, Thu, 23 April 2015, Phnom Penh Post
Licences for four sand dredging areas on the Mekong River in Kampong Cham and Kandal provinces will be auctioned off in the coming days to both foreign and local companies.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy yesterday announced the public auction for licences to dredge in Kampong Cham’s Kang Meas district and Kandal’s Muk Kampoul district.
Meng Saktheara, secretary of state at the ministry, said the open bidding process is intended to ensure transparency in the allocation of licences.
“The four lots will be granted separately: one licence for each company . . . The minimum bid starts at 40 cents per cublic metre,” he said.
On April 10, the ministry granted two licences to the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port in a bid to halt soaring sand prices after the government began a nationwide crackdown on illegal mining and sand dredging.
Hei Bevy, general director at the capital’s port, said that after the two licences were granted sand has been delivered to 12 depots to supply the construction industry.
“We have seen demand for sand skyrocket,” he said.
Saktheara said the ministry was considering a request from the port to open up more storage depots.