The Ministry of Mines and Energy signed joint prakas with the Ministry of Environment to simplifying the environmental impact assessment (EIA) requirements for artisanal and small-scale mining practices. The law has set up a transitional regime for EIA compliance, based on the scale and scope of existing mining operations in attempt to formalise the sector […]
A weekly update of news, commentary and resources on Mekong development projects, investment, EIAs and other development issues. We include a balanced and representative range of news and views from local, regional and global sources. The Digest reaches around 3500 key development professionals, government officials, business leaders and journalists.
TWO jade mining firms in the township of Hpakant in the Kachin State, Burma (Myanmar), have been forced to stop operations after being hit by numerous hand-made bombs in suspected arson attacks, following similar attacks a week before.
The Yadanar Moe Myay Co. Ltd. and Lin Htet Aung Co. Ltd. companies were both operating in Hmaw Si Sar village, according to The Irrawaddy newspaper.
Village administrator Lama Tu Ja told the newspaper that about eight people entered the mining compound around 8pm on Sunday. After telling people present to stand aside, they began to light and throw “hand-made bombs wrapped in tape”.
China has consistently demanded its companies operating abroad respect local laws, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday after hundreds of villagers in Myanmar protested against the resumption of operations at a Chinese-backed copper mine.
The protests have gathered momentum since last Wednesday when some people broke through police barriers protecting the mine, operated by Myanmar Wanbao, a unit of a Chinese weapons maker, in one of the first tests for the new government’s ability to deal with public anger.
On Friday, March 18 several hundred people gathered in Yangon, Myanmar for the launch of the country’s first EITI report, which provides the most comprehensive data to date on Myanmar’s revenues from extractives; traditionally opaque sectors in the country. Dr. Maung Maung Thein, outgoing chair of the Multi Stakeholder Group that implements EITI locally, highlighted […]
The jade tycoon of Burma lives behind stone walls and a sophisticated security system. A visitor must be buzzed through a gate into the garden, pass a hunk of jade as big as a compact refrigerator, enter through a sliding screen and glide by the preserved tusks of the family elephant before sitting down with the man himself.
Yup Zau Hkawng is a well-known figure in Burma’s Kachin state, a broker in the peace process between armed rebels and the military and one of the few ethnic Kachin to own a jade mining business.
Burma’s northernmost state is home to 1.2 million people and some of the country’s most intractable problems — including a rapacious jade mining culture, opium cultivation, environmental devastation, controversial development deals with China, and an armed insurgency. Kachin may pose one of the stiffest challenges to the new democratically elected civilian government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, that has taken over a country that suffered decades of military rule.
The National Legislative Assembly on March 17 passed the new mining bill by 148 votes against one opposition.
The bill, in essence, empowers the state to manage mining operations for utmost benefits to the country and its people by taking into consideration economic and social development and environmental and health impacts.
Civil society organisations meeting in the Kachin State mining town of Hpakant have called for a suspension of all jade mining projects, saying the industry is costing lives, ruining the environment and fuelling conflict.
“Until rules, laws and regulations are legislated and enacted, jade businesses and projects should be halted. Proper policy guidelines, laws, mechanisms, and rules and regulations for the extractive industry should be legislated as fast as possible,” the groups said in a statement directed at the incoming NLD government.
Their call for a suspension of mining activities in Kachin State echoed a call for a moratorium on oil and gas production in Rakhine State that was issued yesterday by Arakan Oil Watch, an NGO that is campaigning for the devolution of management and ownership of natural resources.
The Shan State Farmers’ Network (SSFN) will ask the incoming National League for Democracy government to suspend companies’ gold mining operations?strong in eastern Shan State, which the organisation says have polluted local villagers’ water resources.
A decade of mining in the Loi Kham hills has left around 300 acres of fields unusable, according to a joint press release from the SSFN and the Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF) published on March 3.
The two groups said they “urge the incoming NLD government to implement federal reform to end Nay Pyi Taw’s unilateral power to grant mining concessions in ethnic areas”.
The Shan State Farmers’ Network (SSFN) and the Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF) issued a statement yesterday saying that they deplored renewed attempts by gold mining companies to buy the silence of villagers impacted by toxic mining waste in eastern Shan State, instead of responding to their demands to stop mining and restore their lands. – See more at: http://www.mizzima.com/news-domestic/gold-mining-companies-try-buy-silence-villagers-cbos#sthash.13r2lqiB.dpuf