The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
|Document prepared by the MLMUPC Cambodia,
supported by ADB TA 3577 and LMAP TA GTZ.
Preah Reach Kram NS/RKM/0701/09
Enacted July 13, 2001
LAW ON MINERAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND EXPLOITATION
CHAPTER I: General Provisions
The purpose of this law is to determine the management and exploitation of mineral
resources, the manipulation of mines and all activities relating to the mining operation
in the Kingdom of Cambodia save for the mining operation of petroleum and gas
which shall be under a separate law.
Ownership of all mineral resources in, on or underneath the land, mountains, plateaus,
territorial water and sea islands, and in or on seabed within the territorial integrity of
the Kingdom of Cambodia, shall be included in the property of the State.
Mineral resources include any substance, whether in solid, liquid or gaseous form,
naturally originated by a geological process or as a result of mining in or on the land,
or in or on the sea or seabed, including gemstones, coals, metal and non-metal mines,
mineral water, rock, gravels, sand, clay, petroleum and gas.
The mining operation includes the prospecting, exploring and exploiting of mineral
Prospecting is the preliminary exploration of the land surface by using simple
instruments, involving only minor ground disturbance, in order to determine the
presence of mineral of possible commercial value which may be subjected to an
application for the mineral resources exploration and exploitation license.
Exploration is an investigation for the purpose of discovering and testing mineral
indexes by prospecting, geological, geophysical and geochemical surveying,
excavations, drilling, removal and analysis of soils, silts, water, rock and mineral
samples, to determine the potential, extent, quality, quantity and economic and
Exploitation of mineral resources is the mining operation whereby minerals are
extracted from any mineral deposit processed, transported, sold or exported for
commercial ends. Sale, exportation and importation of valuable metals and gemstones
in raw state and after transformation shall be governed by the provisions of laws in
force of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
CHAPTER II: Mineral Resource License
Mineral resource license is a permit granted by a competent institution to the holder
the right to conduct the activities of mining operations.
No legal entity or natural person shall conduct mineral resource exploration or
exploitation without a mineral resource license issued by a competent institution
except for any owner or lawful occupant of private land who may use gravels, sand, UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION
rock or clay without the license, but is not allowed to transport out of the owned land
boundaries for exploitation.
Any person of Khmer nationality may prospect for minerals on the State land which is
not held under such license issued by the State to another person.
A natural person or legal entity may only be issued a mineral resource license based
on thorough considerations for technical and financial capability and commercial
Before entering any privately owned land for the purpose of conducting exploration or
mining, the holder of a license shall obtain the written agreement of the private land
owner with respect to non-interference with and non-infringement upon the property
and work, and compensation for inconvenience and any damage to the surface of the
land as a result of activities of mineral operation.
Before entering certain State owned lands designated as a protected, reserved or
restricted areas for the purpose of conducting exploration or mining, the holder of a
license shall obtain the written permission of the competent institution or the inter-
ministerial institution responsible for the management of such areas.
It shall be prohibited from conducting the prospecting, exploration and mining on
those State owned lands designated as national cultural, historical and heritage sites.
No other mineral resource license shall be issued over an area already under license to
another holder, without the written permission of the existing license holder or the
written approval of the Minister in charge of mineral resource section stating that the
exclusive rights of the existing holder are in inadequate satisfaction of legal
The Minister in charge of mineral resource sector manages and inspects all mineral
resource operations to efficiently and effectively implement the provisions and
procedures of Law on Mineral Resource Management and Exploitation.
The Minister in charge of mineral resource sector keeps and records in a register of
every mineral resource license issued and of any dealings with a mineral license.
CHAPTER III: Mineral Resource License Categories
Six categories of license shall be made available to applicants in order to facilitate the
management of the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources within the
Kingdom of Cambodia.
1. An Artisan Mining License may be issued only to persons of Khmer nationality for
the purpose of conducting the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources by
using locally available common instruments and their own labor or with the help of
family with no more than 7 (seven) persons.
Mining crafts may explore and exploit mineral resources found only in loose state
in silts, gravel, sand and rock, and within a demarcated area no larger than 1 (one)
hectare, and to a maximum depth of 5 (five) meters.
2. A Pits and Quarries Mining License may be issued to qualified physical persons or
legal entities for the purpose of conducting the exploration and exploitation of any
construction and industrial minerals used for constructions, chemical and
secondary industry, and mined from pits and quarries.
The construction and industrial minerals include sand, gravel, crushed stone,
laterite, clay, cement clay, coral, fossil, phosphorite, limestone, dolomite, marble,
kaolin, pagodite, salt, potash, gypsum, peat, coal, titanium sand, silica sand or any
other mineral compounds used for such purposes.
3. A Gem-Stone Mining License may be issued to qualified and competent physical
persons or legal entities for the purpose of conducting the exploration and mining
of precious and semi-precious stones, and ornament stones.
Precious stones include diamonds, rubies, sapphires, smaragdites, and all other
similar gem-stone quality minerals. Semi-precious stones include zircon,
amethysts, topazs, and all other similar gem-stone quality minerals.
Ornament stones are low crystal clear or non-transparent stone used for ornaments
such as chalcedonies, ashlaring, normal opals, agates, jades, malachites, stone
wood, black basalt, and all other similar quality stones.
4. A Mineral Transforming License may be issued to qualified physical persons or
legal entities for the purpose of transforming precious or semi-precious stones or
5. An Exploration License may be issued to qualified and competent physical persons
or legal entities for the purpose of conducting exploration of minerals and studying
6. An Industrial Mining License shall be issued only to the holder of an exploration
license for the purpose of conducting exploration and mining of economically
viable mineral deposit established within the boundaries of the exploration license.
The holder of the exploration license shall submit technical, financial,
environmental, social and economic analysis to determine the socio-economic
feasibility of proceeding with a mining operation to ask for approval from the
Minister in charge of minerals.
A sub-decree will prescribed form and content of such a final feasibility study
report and required accompanying documents, and the terms and conditions upon
which an industrial mining license shall be issued.
Where the Minister in charge of mineral resource determines that an exploration or
mining license application to indicates a large scale project of special national
significance, he shall enter into negotiations with the applicant reach a supplementary
Mineral Investment Agreement to be appended to the license.
For certain unlicensed areas of known mineral potential, the Minister in charge of
mineral resource may, by public notice, declare as an area reserved for bidding by
preparing a formal negotiation and evaluation to issue an appropriate mineral license
and, where required, negotiation of a supplementary mineral investment agreement as
described in Article 12.
CHAPTER IV: MINERAL RESOURCE LICENSE PROCEDURES
Khmer citizen may submit in person the application for an artisan mining license to the
specialized office of the Ministry in charge of minerals, located in provinces/
municipalities in where the artisan mining license area is situated.
Natural persons or legal entities shall submit applications for all other licenses issued
under the authority of this law to the Minister in charge of mineral resources.
The Minister in charge of mineral resources sector shall provide a response as to his
approval or rejection of an application within forty five (45) days at the latest
following the date of receiving a complete and technical compliance application.
Except for the artisan mining license, the holder of all other licenses issued under the
authority of this law may request to renew, modify, return, mortgage, assign or inherit
it with a written approval from the Minister in charge of minerals.
A license issued under the authority of this law may be suspended or cancelled for any
holder who breaches this law.
Procedures of suspension or revocation of a license shall be determined by sub-decree.
The holder of a license issued under the authority of the law shall submit to the
Minister in charge of mineral resources the application forms, reports, plans and
notices at the prescribed date and maintain records and documents.
The confidentiality of all documents and information as provided in Article 19 of this
law shall be maintained until the termination of such license or subsequent to the
receipt of an approval from the holder to allow public disclosure of such information:
− Provided that information related to environmental and social issues may be
released to the public upon notice to the holder of such action by the Minister in
charge of minerals;
And provided that the Ministry in charge of minerals may compile and publish
statistics quoted from the holder’s documents and information as it relates to
national mineral sector analysis.
CHAPTER V: Exploration and Mining Operation
Every license holder or subcontractor shall be responsible for the proper conduct of
exploration and mining operations in compliance with the following determinations:
1. Properly conducting operations in technically and financially effective and efficient
manner, as detailed in an exploration work program or a mine feasibility study.
2. Protection of environment as detailed in Law on Environment Protection and
Natural Resource Management, an environmental impact assessment and study, an
environmental management plan, a mine site restoration and rehabilitation and
3. Ensuring the protection of worker health and safety to be detailed in a mine plan
program, and a mine health and safety program containing accident prevention and
4. Protecting safety of the public in and around mine sites to be detailed in a mine
5. Educating, training and providing jobs to Khmer citizens to be detailed in an
education, training and employment program.
6. Utilizing as much as possible goods and services within the Kingdom of Cambodia
at appropriate place and time.
The Minister may further determine the necessity for the above work based on the
category of license and the magnitude of the operation.
Guidelines on the form, plan expansion and increase and content of all necessary
documents and work program, financial guarantee for proper implementation shall be
determined by a Prakas of the Minister.
In each necessary case, the Minister shall appoint competent officials to monitor the
implementation of this law.
Appointed officials shall:
1. Be responsible to the Minister for methods of administration in accordance with
the provisions of the law.
2. Prepare an annual report on regulatory activities of exploration and mining during
the preceding year and submit it to the Minister.
3. Collate information and maintain records of operations of explorations, mining,
treatments, marketing and exportation of mineral resources and products.
4. Follow up and monitor to ensure that all provisions of this law have been
5. Make inspection to ensure that all regulations relating to the health and safety of
workers and of the general public have been properly applied.
6. Perform other duties as determined by the Minister.
The power and duties of the officials appointed to monitor, inspect and report on all
activities relating to the exploration, mining, research and analysis related to the
methods of administration under the authority of this law shall be prescribed in Sub-
Based on coordination of the Ministry in charge of minerals, the holder of a license
shall ask for advice from relevant Ministries to carry out the exploration and mining
operations in localities, provinces, municipalities, districts, and Khans in accordance
with the principles of social and economic development of the Royal Government of
CHAPTER VI: License Holder and Land Owner
The holder of a license shall indemnify the land owner both in and out of the license
area against damages caused by his/her mining operations regardless of accidental or
Where the damage is caused by the mining operation of more than two holders of the
license, those two holders shall jointly make indemnification against such damage.
The indemnification shall be made as follows:
− Where the mining operation area determined in the license impact the owned land,
the land owner shall permit the holder of the license to conduct the mining
operation on such land with prior mutual agreement whereby the owner shall
receive fair and just compensation.
− Such compensation shall be made in time or finally made in accordance with the
agreement between the owner and the holder of the license.
− Where the owner and the holder of the license disagree with the compensation, the
Minister shall facilitate and solve it and request, if failed, the Royal Government to
create a joint commission to settle this case.
− Where both parties disagree with the settlement of the joint commission, the
decision shall be under the jurisdiction of the court.
Where the ownership of the whole or a part of a mining operation area determined in
the license has not been granted to any person, a competent authority cannot issue title
to the whole or a part of such area to any party unless the Royal Government permits
as requested by the Minister.
Where people are living in the license operation area prior to the date of issuing such
license, the holder of the license shall make compensation as provided in Article 25.
CHAPTER VII: Financial Provisions
An applicant or holder of a license shall pay the State the fees of registration,
application for suspension, renewal, transfer and annual land rental.
With the exception of the holder of an exploration license and mineral transforming
license, the holder of all licenses shall pay the State a royalty on the value of minerals
The holder of a mining license as provided in the above paragraph shall keep books of
accounts and furnish to the Minister reports or records regarding such information.
The Minister may deliver a notice to the holder of a mining license to provide further
information of sales contracts, inspect and audit books of accounts, and consult with
the holder in order to establish the value of the mine output.
It shall be prohibited to dispose of minerals on which the royalty has not been paid or
without a written permit from the Minister. UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION
According to the applicable laws, a special tax regime shall be established for
application to the output and revenue gained from the 6 (six) categories of the mining
licenses as provided in Article 11.
The rate of royalty on the value of mineral resources, methods of royalty payment to
the State, and incentives for competent officials as provided in Article 23 shall be
determined by Inter-Ministerial Prakas.
Taxes, duties, tax on shares, tax on personal share, provision, method of expenditure,
tax payment procedure, accounting and financial principles and practices, definitions
of losses, exemption and incentives of investment in mineral sector shall comply with
laws in force.
CHAPTER VIII: Penalties
Any person who conducts the operation of the mineral resource exploration without a
mineral resource license shall be liable to a fine ranging from 500,000 (Five Hundred
Thousand) Riels to 1,000,000 (One Million) Riels.
In case of recalcitrance, the penalty shall be from 1,000,000 (One Million) Riels to
2,000,000 (Two Million) Riels, or such person shall be punished by 1 (one) month to 1
(one) year imprisonment, or both punishments.
Any person who conducts the exploration operation in violation of the second
paragraph of Article 7 or of Article 8 of this law shall be liable to a fine ranging from
5,000,000 (Five Million) Riels to 10,000,000 (Ten Million) Riels, or punished by 6
(six) months to 2 (two) years imprisonment or both penalties.
Any person who conducts mining operation without a mining license or in violation of
Article 7 and Article 8 of this law shall be liable to a fine of an amount equal to 3
(three) times the assessed value for a period the output of mineral has been extracted
based on the size of apparatuses, used production machinery and quantity of minerals
within such area, and shall be punished with a fine ranging from 1,000,000 (One
Million) Riels to 10,000,000 (Ten Million) Riels per diem starting from the date such
person illegally committed to the date the activities of mining operation have been
ceased, and by imprisonment ranging from 1 (one) year to 5 (five) year regardless of
compensation for damages. And the apparatuses and production machinery shall be
confiscated into the State’s property.
Any person who conducts the mining operation with an expired mining license shall be
punished as provided in Article 35 of this law.
Any holder who violates Article 30 of this law shall be liable to a fine of double the
value of the minerals disposed or a revocation of the mining license or both
Any holder who does not allow the competent inspecting official(s) as provided in
Article 23 of this law to enter his/her mining operation site for inspection shall be UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION
punished with a fine ranging from 5,000,000 (Five Million) Riels to 10,000,000 (Ten
Million) Riels or with a suspension of the mining license for a period no longer than 6
In case of repeated offense, the mining license shall be finally revoked.
Any person who is not a legal land owner and causes obstruction in the mining
operation of the holder who legally possesses the mining license shall be punished with
imprisonment ranging from 6 (six) days to 1 (one) month.
Any competent official of the Ministry in charge of minerals who commits conspiracy
or offenses against the provisions of this law shall be liable to the administrative
punishment regardless of penal offenses.
CHAPTER IX: Transitional Provisions
Any natural person or legal entity who kicked off to explore or exploit the mineral
resources with an official permit prior to this law coming into force may carry on its
activities but shall submit the application for a new mining license within 90 (Ninety)
days at the latest in accordance with the provisions of this law.
CHAPTER X: Final Provision
Any provision contrary to this law shall be abrogated.