Early May’s Poisoning in Kratie Province Not Caused by Toxic Effects of Cyanide

Government has reconfirmed that deaths of residents in Kratie province by poisoning was not caused by toxic effects of cyanide allegedly � without scientific basis � emitted by licenced gold mining firms.

Minister of Mines and Energy H.E. Suy Sem was quoted as saying by local media yesterday, justifying that all the licenced gold mining companies have not yet operated their activities.

The licenced mining companies, he underlined, are still in the process of installing their facilities in full compliance with investment agreement, and through careful and regular assessments by technical teams from the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

Green light given for them to commence their operation will only be granted with the prerequisite preparation ready and qualified to be safe and appropriate by the ministry, he added.

The minister acknowledged illegal gold mining operation, but assured that competent authorities have cracked down such practices and continued to monitor the areas.

According H.E. Suy Sem, the Ministry of Environment has had the blood sample of the deaths examined in a laboratory of Singapore which scientifically proved there is no toxic effects of cyanide substance in it.

Early May's poisoning killed at least 13 people and injured many in Chetr Borei district of Kratie province.

Following an intensive investigation, Ministry of Health has officially announced that the poisoning was resulted by a combination of contaminated water by insecticides and methanol-laced rice wine.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press