Mekong Eye

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Mining

  • Burma: Jade mining companies forced to suspend operations after arson attacks

    05/18/2016

    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”.

  • After Myanmar protests, China says companies should respect laws

    05/10/2016

    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.

  • Myanmar Launches First Report on Extractive Industries Revenue

    05/02/2016

    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 […]

  • In Burma’s wildest corner, jade, drugs and rebels will test the new government

    04/05/2016

    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.

  • NLA passes new mining bill

    03/25/2016

    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 groups demand halt to Hpakant jade mining

    03/23/2016

    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.

  • Shan civil society groups call for gold mining suspension

    03/08/2016

    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”.

  • Gold mining companies try to buy silence of villagers: CBOs

    03/04/2016

    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

  • Iron mine damages 25ha of rice fields

    02/25/2016

    The exploitation of an iron mine has caused landslide, damaging some 25ha of rice fields in Ho Hamlet, Huong Son Commune, Huong Hoa District of the in this Central Quang Tri Province.

    The local authority identified an upstream iron mine, managed by Hoanh Son Industry, Trade and Services JSC, as the source of the problem.

  • Iron mine damages 25ha of rice fields

    02/24/2016

    The exploitation of an iron mine has caused landslide, damaging some 25ha of rice fields in Ho Hamlet, Huong Son Commune, Huong Hoa District of the in this Central Quang Tri Province.

    The local authority identified an upstream iron mine, managed by Hoanh Son Industry, Trade and Services JSC, as the source of the problem.

    Apart from ruining the rice fields, which have now been abandoned, sand and rubble from the mine have blocked the Khe Let stream. Moreover, vehicles transporting the iron ore have damaged a section of the road connecting the commune with Huong Hoa District.

  • Eye On: Baht Beyond Borders

    02/23/2016

    With public opposition to major infrastructure projects a growing concern, and willing partners in neighboring countries eager to pick of the slack, Thailand’s industrialists are fanning out in all directions. Energy projects dominate the mix, including coal, gas and hydropower. As a result, it’s the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand driving much of the activity.

  • Environment Ministry worried for mineral overexploitation in Delta

    02/16/2016

    Plans to evaluate mineral reserves and marine natural resources and to help residents better adapt to climate change nationwide – especially in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region, the area predicted to suffer the most from climate change – are high up on the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s agenda this year.

    Minister Nguyen Minh Quang announced the priorities at a recent press conference to outline the environment sector’s targets this year.

    Quang said the country’s natural resources were expected to be effectively managed when the detailed evaluation was released. At present, the country was facing many environmental issues triggered by the overexploitation of minerals.

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