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Minerals and Mining - Burma (general articles and analyses)

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Myanmar: Extractives in Ten Minutes : No. 1
Date of publication: September 2012
Description/subject: FIVE FEATURES: China; Sanctions; Extractives mix; Political dynamics; Ethnic overlay...FIVE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: Is Myanmar ready for EITI? What if the Burmese want more electricity? Could narco-dollars be recycled in a new investment wave? Is there a plan B? How could investment policy reform impact artisanal mining?...FIVE MAJOR PLAYERS: Aung San Suu Kyi; President Thein Sein; Myanmar Armed Forces; Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE); China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)...KEY LINKS: .• Arakan Oil Watch • Shwe Gas Movement • The Irrawaddy • Mizzima News • Democratic Voice of Burma • BurmaNet News ....ABOUT OPENOIL.....A snapshot guide to the rapidly developing extractive industries of Myanmar. The attached two-pager is designed as a quick read, covering five major features of the industry, posing five unanswered questions, and profiling the five biggest players in the sector. The "Ten Minutes" guide is the first in a planned series on Myanmar; OpenOil is currently developing similar snapshots of extractive industries in other countries such as Mongolia.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Open Oil
Format/size: pdf (315K)
Date of entry/update: 12 September 2012


Title: Google site-specific search for "mining" on mmtimes.com
Description/subject: 658 results (December 2014)
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times" via Google
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 21 December 2014


Title: Mines and Communities Burma page
Description/subject: 295 results, December 2012; 327 results, December 2014
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mines and Comminities
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 December 2012


Title: Mines and Communities Website
Description/subject: The Mines and Communities Website ("MAC") was initiated by members of the Minewatch Asia-Pacific London support group. Its main aim is to ensure easy access to materials published by the group, as well as partner organisations and individuals. We want to make information on mining impacts, projects, and the corporate sector more widely available. Above all, we hope to empower mining-affected communities, so that they can better fight against damaging proposals and practices. The website is supported by: JATAM (Mining Advocacy Network, Indonesia), Mines, Minerals and People (India), Minewatch Asia Pacific Project (Philippines), Partizans (People against Rio Tinto Zinc and Its Subsidiaries, UK), Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links (UK), the Society of St. Columban (UK) and Third World Network Ghana. These organisations are also represented on the editorial group which will submit and monitor new information and contacts on which this website can build......See the Country page for several dozen articles and reports on mining in Burma. MAC is one of the homes of "Grave Diggers: A Report on Mining in Burma" by Roger Moody.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mines and Communities
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar Ministry of Mines
Description/subject: Situated in South East Asia Peninsula, covering an area of 676578 sq km, Myanmar is endowed with rich mineral resources in which mining of precious minerals date as for back as second century BC. Myanmar Rubies, Sapphires and Jade are admired around the world. Silver Lead and Zinc were extracted since 15 century AD and Myanmar stood as one of the leading exporters of tin and tungsten in the world market during 1930's. "Ministry of Mines is responsible for Formulation of Mining Policy, Exploration and Extraction of Minerals and Gems. Department of Mines is responsible for Mining Policy Formulation, Granting of Mineral Permits and Coordination of Mining Sector. Mining Enterprise No. 3 is responsible for production of Coal. Department of Geological Surveys and Mineral Exploration is responsible for exploration of Coal Deposits."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Ministry of Mines
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 August 2010


Title: Results of a Google site-specific search for "Mining" on dvb.no
Description/subject: 650 results (December 2014)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma via Google
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 21 December 2014


Title: Results of a Google site-specific search for "mining" on irrawaddy.org
Description/subject: 3,730 results (December 2014)
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" via Google
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 21 December 2014


Title: US Geological Survey (USGS) - Asia and the Pacific
Description/subject: The USGS "Minerals Yearbook" contains an annual report on the minerals industry of Burma.
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Geological Survey (USGS)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 21 December 2014


Individual Documents

Title: Shan Organizations Call for Mining Moratorium
Date of publication: 12 September 2014
Description/subject: A coalition of Shan community based organizations has said a moratorium on resource extraction is urgently needed until there is nationwide peace and a discussion on the control and management of the country’s natural resources, much of which are in ethnic areas. The Shan CBOs referred to an anti-mining protest held on 5th September by 3,000 villagers in the town of Namkham, which lies near the border of China in northern Shan State, as one example of how ethnic communities felt they were being negatively affected by the resource extraction industry...Muay Noom Hom, a spokesperson for the Shan CBOs, said that the government’s decision to engage in resource extraction before a peace settlement with ethnic armed groups was irresponsible. “Naypyidaw is selling off all our valuable resources even before getting to the negotiating table. By the time a settlement is reached, there will be nothing left,” she said..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: KIC via BNI
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 21 December 2014


Title: Myanmar considers the EITI
Date of publication: 13 July 2012
Description/subject: "U Soe Thane, Minister of Industry...during the Myanmar Forum in Singapore...announced that “in time, we plan to introduce and practice Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (EITI)”. As part of its broader reform efforts, the government of Myanmar is now exploring the benefits of EITI implementation. “We are preparing to be a signatory to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative to ensure that there is maximum transparency in these sectors and try to make sure the benefits go to the vast majority of the people and not to a small group”, said President Thein Sein..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://eiti.org/
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2012


Title: Obama Administration declares Burma open to U.S. mining investment
Date of publication: 18 May 2012
Description/subject: U.S. mining and exploration companies can now officially join their Australian, Canadian, Chinese, European, French, Thai and Korean counterparts in the rush to develop Burma's mineral riches. RENO (MINEWEB) -
Author/creator: Dorothy Kosich
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mineweb
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 May 2012


Title: US greenlights investment by energy, mining, banking firms
Date of publication: 17 May 2012
Description/subject: "...Clinton said Washington would issue a general license to permit U.S. investments across Myanmar's economy, and U.S. energy, mining and financial service companies were all now free to look for opportunities in the nation formerly known as Burma..."
Author/creator: Andrew Quinn and Paul Eckert
Language: English
Source/publisher: Reuters
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 May 2012


Title: Japan's Itochu joins the charge of the mining brigade in to Burma
Date of publication: 04 May 2012
Description/subject: "It is reported in the Japanese press today that Itochu Corp has begun a feasibility study in the country to isolate specialty metals including tungsten and molybdenum. This follows approaches by Japanese officials last year trying to get a deal with Burma for access to rare earths, the elements vital to Japanese industry’s high tech and hybrid car programs. South Korea has also been lobbying the Burmese over rare earths. Chinese companies have also been eyeing projects in the country. In 2008, China National Petroleum Corp signed a 30-year gas agreement covering production from three blocks in the Bay of Bengal. But this is only the beginning. The country will be a big target because it has bountiful resources in close proximity to resource-hungry India and China..."
Author/creator: Robin Bromby
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Australian"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 May 2012


Title: Burma bans mining on four major rivers
Date of publication: 30 March 2012
Description/subject: (Mizzima) – Burma has banned mining of mineral resources along the country's four major river courses or near the river banks in a bid to preserve the natural environment, according to an order of the Ministry of Mines made public Thursday.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 March 2012


Title: GEOMYANMAR 2012
Date of publication: March 2012
Description/subject: First International Conference on Regional Geology, Stratigraphy and Tectonics of Myanmar and neighbouring countries and Economic Geology (petroleum and mineral resources) of Myanmar
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Myanmar Geosciences Society (MGS)
Format/size: pdf (1.12MB)
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2012


Title: Turning Treasure Into Tears - Mining, Dams and Deforestation in Shwegyin Township, Pegu Division, Burma
Date of publication: 20 February 2007
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report describes how human rights and environmental abuses continue to be a serious problem in eastern Pegu division, Burma – specifi cally, in Shwegyin township of Nyaunglebin District. The heavy militarization of the region, the indiscriminate granting of mining and logging concessions, and the construction of the Kyauk Naga Dam have led to forced labor, land confi scation, extortion, forced relocation, and the destruction of the natural environment. The human consequences of these practices, many of which violate customary and conventional international law, have been social unrest, increased fi nancial hardship, and great personal suffering for the victims of human rights abuses. By contrast, the SPDC and its business partners have benefi ted greatly from this exploitation. The businessmen, through their contacts, have been able to rapidly expand their operations to exploit the township’s gold and timber resources. The SPDC, for its part, is getting rich off the fees and labor exacted from the villagers. Its dam project will forever change the geography of the area, at great personal cost to the villagers, but it will give the regime more electricity and water to irrigate its agro-business projects. Karen villagers in the area previously panned for gold and sold it to supplement their incomes from their fi elds and plantations. They have also long been involved in small-scale logging of the forests. In 1997, the SPDC and businessmen began to industrialize the exploitation of gold deposits and forests in the area. Businessmen from central Burma eventually arrived and in collusion with the Burmese Army gained mining concessions and began to force people off of their land. Villagers in the area continue to lose their land, and with it their ability to provide for themselves. The Army abuses local villagers, confi scates their land, and continues to extort their money. Commodity prices continue to rise, compounding the diffi culties of daily survival. Large numbers of migrant workers have moved into the area to work the mining concessions and log the forests. This has created a complicated tension between the Karen and these migrants. While the migrant workers are merely trying to earn enough money to feed their families, they are doing so on the Karen’s ancestral land and through the exploitation of local resources. Most of the migrant workers are Burman, which increases ethnic tensions in an area where Burmans often represent the SPDC and the Army and are already seen as sneaky and oppressive by the local Karen. These forms of exploitation increased since the announcement of the construction of the Kyauk Naga Dam in 2000, which is expected to be completed in late 2006. The SPDC has enabled the mining and logging companies to extract as much as they can before the area upstream of the dam is fl ooded. This situation has intensifi ed and increased human rights violations against villagers in the area. The militarization of the region, as elsewhere, has resulted in forced labor, extortion of money, goods, and building materials, and forced relocation by the Army. In addition to these direct human rights violations, the mining and dam construction have also resulted in grave environmental degradation of the area. The mining process has resulted in toxic runoff that has damaged or destroyed fi elds and plantations downstream. The dam, once completed, will submerge fi elds, plantations, villages, and forests. In addition, the dam will be used to irrigate rubber plantations jointly owned by the SPDC and private business interests. The Burmese Army has also made moves to secure the area in the mountains to the east of the Shwegyin River. This has led to relocations and the forced displacement of thousands of Karen villagers living in the mountains. Once the Army has secured the area, the mining and logging companies will surely follow..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: EarthRights International (ERI)
Format/size: pdf (632K)
Date of entry/update: 06 March 2007


Title: Mining, Gender, and the Environment in Burma
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: "...Women’s groups and environmental groups have much to gain by collaborating with one another on mining in Burma. To this end, this article offers additional background information that will be of interest to groups concerned with either women’s rights or the environment. Each section summarizes areas where these respective issues overlap..." "...I found this report to be particularly useful for the information and insights it provides into artisanal mining in Burma, especially the more recent developments in the Hukanwng valley in Kachin State that Alan Rabinowitz came across in his travels in the area. There are some tantalizing references to the Northern Star Co in Myitkyina which apparently controls all mining operations in the state. Also very useful for the discussion of the various extractive methods used in artisanal mining and in particular the "cooking" process (referred to as "dohtar" in Burmese), used to extract small amounts of copper from mining residue and which the report describes as a a "less technologically sophisticated version of the copper solvent extraction and electrowinning pilot plant built by Ivanhoe in Monywa". This article is very well researched. There are also updates in the same Earthrights report to the proposed pipeline to India from the offshore gas field in near Sittway and to continuing use of forced labour in the Yadana pipeline corridor in northern Tenasserim ..." - Eric Snider... Extractive Industries in Burma: Mining in Comparative Context; Challenges to Studying Mining in Burma; International Women and Mining Conference; Case study: The Gendered Impacts of Gold Mining Operations in Kachin State, Burma; Key Health and Safety Issues for Burmese Women; Recommendations and Areas for Future Research.
Language: English
Source/publisher: EarthRights International
Format/size: pdf (66K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.earthrights.org/burmareports/mining_gender_and_the_environment_in_burma_3.html
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2004


Title: Capitalizing on Conflict: How Logging and Mining Contribute to Environmental Destruction in Burma.
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: "'Capitalizing on Conflict' presents information illustrating how trade in timber, gems, and gold is financing violent conflict, including widespread and gross human rights abuses, in Burma. Although trade in these “conflict goods” accounts for a small percentage of the total global trade, it severely compromises human security and undermines socio-economic development, not only in Burma, but throughout the region. Ironically, cease-fire agreements signed between the late 1980s and early 1990s have dramatically expanded the area where businesses operate. While many observers have have drawn attention to the political ramifications of these ceasefires, little attention has been focused on the economic ramifications. These ceasefires, used strategically by the military regime to end fighting in some areas and foment intra-ethnic conflict in others and weaken the unity of opposition groups, have had a net effect of increasing violence in some areas. Capitalizing on Conflict focuses on two zones where logging and mining are both widespread and the damage from these activities is severe... Both case studies highlight the dilemmas cease-fire arrangements often pose for the local communities, which frequently find themselves caught between powerful and conflicting military and business interests. The information provides insights into the conditions that compel local communities to participate in the unsustainable exploitation of their own local resources, even though they know they are destroying the very ecosystems they depend upon to maintain their way of life. The other alternative — to stand aside and let outsiders do it and then be left with nothing — is equally unpalatable..." Table of Contents: Map of Burma; Map of Logging and Mining Areas; Executive Summary; Recommendations; Part I: Context; General Background on Cease-fires; Conflict Trade and Burma; Part II: Logging Case Study; Background on the Conflict; Shwe Gin Township (Pegu Division); Papun Districut (Karen State); Reported Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts; Part III: Mining Case Study; Background on the Conflict; Mogok (Mandalay Division); Shwe Gin Township (Pegu Division); Reported Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts; Conclusion.
Author/creator: Ken MacLean
Language: English
Source/publisher: EarthRights International (ERI), Karen Environnmental & Social Action Network (KESAN)
Format/size: pdf (939K)
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2003


Title: Grave Diggers: A report on Mining in Burma
Date of publication: 14 February 2000
Description/subject: A report on mining in Burma. The problems mining is bringing to the Burmese people, and the multinational companies involved in it. Includes an analysis of the SLORC 1994 Mining Law.... 'Grave Diggers, authored by world renowned mining environmental activist Roger Moody, was the first major review of mining in Burma since the country's military regime opened the door to foreign mining investment in 1994. Singled out for special attention in this report is the stake taken up by Canadian mining promoter Robert Friedland, whose Ivanhoe Mines has redeveloped a major copper mine in the Monywa area in joint venture enterprise with Burma's military regime. There are several useful appendices with first hand reports from mining sites throughout the country. A series of maps shows the location of the exploration concessions taken up almost exclusively by foreign companies in the rounds of bidding that took place in the nineties.
Author/creator: Roger Moody
Language: English
Source/publisher: Various groups
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB) html
Alternate URLs: http://www.miningwatch.ca/en/grave-diggers-report-mining-burma
http://www.miningwatch.ca/sites/miningwatch.ca/files/Grave_Diggers.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 September 2010