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Eumeralla expects mining permit this year

Australian mining firm Eumeralla Resources expects to receive a permit to explore for tin and tungsten in Kayah State by September of this year – three years after it first applied, the firm announced this week.

The company expects the exploration permit to be granted in the second or third quarter of this year, it said on April 5. The firm announced a US$1.3 million capital raising exercise, of which $450,000 will be used to “finalise the formal grant process” and begin exploration in Myanmar.

Eumeralla Resources partnered with local firm Myanmar Energy Resources Group and applied for the exploration permit for an area of some 400 square kilometres in July 2013. The application was made by Mawsaki Mining Co, of which Eumeralla owns 70 percent and MERG 30pc.

Long waiting times are a fact of life for foreign mining companies hoping to strike it rich in Myanmar, which was once one of the world’s largest producers of some metals.

A recently amended mining law could provide a framework for equity and profit-sharing agreements between the government and foreign firms. Butreducing the length of time it takes to receive a permit will be a key challenge, officials at foreign mining companies have said.

After applying in July 2013, Eumeralla announced in October 2014 that it hadreceived state government approval for the permit.

That approval came after negotiations with the Office of the Chief Minister for Kayah State, the Ministry of Forestry and Mines, both the State Forest Department and the State Land Records Department in Loikaw, and the Office of Township Administration, Hpa-sawng, the firm said.

The company then moved on to the process of being granted the necessary approvals to allow the Union Government to consider the application.

That required meetings with the Department of Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration, and commissioning an Environmental Management Plan, which took place in 2015, according to statements from Eumeralla.

In December 2015, the firm announced the negotiations with the government authorities had been successful. But in its announcement to shareholders this week it also noted that Myanmar’s policies on mining are “especially fluid as a new government has recently been appointed, which may result in material changes to mining laws or regulations”.

The Ministry of Mines’ director general U Win Htein recently told The Myanmar Times that the specific rules under the amended mining law would be finalised under the new government. The new government also intends to merge the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry and the Ministry of Mines into a new ministry – the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.

As the forestry department is crucial in granting mining concession applications, the merger could make the application process more centralised and streamlined, said an official at a foreign mining firm, who asked to remain anonymous.

 

Source: Myanmar Times
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