Mining companies hunt for buried treasure on indigenous Cambodian land

Deep in the forests of northeast Cambodia, bamboo shoots criss-crossed rays of sunlight as 26-year-old Tang Kalann passed by open and covered pits near the Tang Se community, comprising four indigenous Jarai villages where he lives. 

For years, the mining firm Angkor Resources Corp., formerly Angkor Gold Corp., had been surveying, digging and drilling all around Tang Se in hopes of building a full-scale mine in Ratanakiri province.

“This place has a lot of gold,” said Tang, hiking through white wildflowers and over fallen trees in the Andong Meas district near the Vietnam border. Near the top of the rise, Tang looked over the edge of an Angkor pit, now partially enclosed by mud. 

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