Natural resources include oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese and phosphates. Exploitable oil deposits were found beneath Cambodia’s territorial waters in 2005. Mining opportunities exist for bauxite, gold, iron and gems. Illegal logging activities and strip mining for gems have resulted in habitat loss and declining biodiversity
Source: CIA World Factbook
The Cambodians for Resource Revenue Transparency (CRRT) is an independent Cambodian registered network, which advocates for government disclosure of extractive revenues and among other things, for EITI implementation in Cambodia. In March 2010, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) made its most significant public disclosure of oil revenues. The RGC received USD$26 million from oil companies in January 2010 alone, announced the Ministry of Economy and Finance Secretary General Hang Chuon Naron. Elaborating on Dr. Naron’s disclosure, an official from the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority (CNPA) confirmed to The Phnom Penh Post that both PetroVietnam and Total paid a total of US$26 million in signature bonuses and social funds to the RGC in January. PetroVietnam made payments following the signing of an exploration deal for onshore Block 15, while Total’s payment related to the 2,430 square-kilometer Area III, an offshore block in Cambodia’s Overlapping Claims Area with Thailand, the CNPA official said.
The disclosure was part of a presentation prepared by Dr. Naron on the EITI, just after an EITI Southeast Asia workshop had taken place in Jakarta, which was also attended by a representative from the Supreme National Economic Council. Cambodia has yet to join the EITI, but has set up an inter-ministerial working group that will publish extractive industry taxes, which could be a step forward.