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Mining Company’s License Renewal on Hold over Environmental Impact

Tin Mg Oo/Myanmar Business Today

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation has put on hold the application of Thai-owned company Myanmar Pongpipat to renew its license to operate Heinda Tin Mine in Tanintharyi Region, citing the company’s failure to prevent environmental damages. The Ministry will be closely monitoring Myanmar Pongpipat’s environmental efforts before deciding whether to extend its license.

“We have not approved application for a third five-year license extension by Myanmar Pongpipat, as the company only focuses on mining and neglects environmental impact. We will continue the process in accordance with remarks from related government agencies. We are inspecting progress at Heinda Tin Mine. But we do not have any immediate plan to invite Expressions of Interest from interested investors,” said Dr. Ye Myint Swe, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, at the Amyotha Hluttaw, the upper house of parliament, on November 7.

Myanmar Pongpipat was granted a 10-year license to operate a large-scale mining project at Heinda from 1999-2009. The license has been extended twice, for 2009-2014 and 2014-2019. The mining operations cover 2,110 acres of land, and from 1999 to 2019, the company has extracted 8,575.0878 metric tons of tin ore, according to the minister.

Anglo-Burma Tin first conducted tin reserve exploration in 1935. From 1928 to 1998, the mine produced 17,541.1634 metric tons of tin ore.

Channel News Asia reported on April 5 that Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had opened an official enquiry into alleged human rights violations at the Heinda mine. A delegation led by NHRC commissioner Tuenjai Deetes visited the area in early 2017 to gather information about the mine.

Source : Myanmar Business Today

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