Country Listing

Cambodia Table of Contents

Cambodia

Natural Resources

Metals and Minerals

In general, Cambodia's mineral resources appear to be limited. In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, however, exploration by Chinese experts in Kampong Thum Province disclosed commercially exploitable deposits of iron ore amounting to about 5.2 million tons. Western sources indicated possible reserves of high-grade iron ore, ranging from 2.5 million to 4.8 million tons, in the northern part of the country. Chinese explorations also revealed manganese ore reserves, estimated at about 120,000 tons, in Kampong Thum Province.

Deposits of phosphate, limestone, and clay of exploitable quality and quantity have also been reported. A few thousand tons of phosphate are extracted annually in Kampot Province and are processed locally or at a small plant in Batdambang Province. In addition, salt and coal also may be present in Cambodia's geological strata. Rubies, sapphires, and zircons have been mined since at least the late 1800s, mostly at Ba Kev, Stoeng Treng Province, and at Pailin, Batdambang Province. Limited gold and silver deposits have been reported in several parts of the country.

Data as of December 1987