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New mining permits to be be approved soon: ministry

Myanmar will approve the applications of up to 158 new medium and large-scale exploration and extraction mining permits, said U Thein Soe, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC).

The ministry has received more than 3000 applications to conduct activities at the new mining blocks since July 2018 and is planning to approve 158 for medium and large scale exploration and extraction now that the regional governments involved have completed checks and provided recommendations. Part of the requirements in granting the licences are that the companies must have environmental management plans in place.

The permit approvals will be granted “soon,” said U Thein Soe. “The 158 permits will be granted to both domestic and foreign investors,” he added.

The move comes after the suspension of new mining permits in July 2016. MoNREC began accepting applications after enacting the 2018 Myanmar Mining Rules to better regulate the industry. Under the new regulations, large blocks will cover up to 500,000 acres (about 202,000 hectares). Foreign firms can invest in large blocks while local firms can work in all kinds of blocks.

Investors can apply to mine for minerals such as gold, copper, lead, tin and tungsten. The permits cover prospecting, exploration, and production.

MONREC will handle the permit approval process for medium and large-scale mining blocks, while regional and state governments have been permitted to process applications for small-scale mining blocks.

Investors will be able to apply for mining blocks mainly in Mandalay, Sagaing and Kachin State as well as Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Tanintharyi, Mon, Nay Pyi Taw, Bago, Rakhine and Ayeyarwady.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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