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New mining infrastructure to be installed at Shan’s Bawdwin lead mine

Existing infrastructure at the Bawdwin Joint Venture mine in Namtu, Shan State, will be replaced to support the mining and refining of lead, according to
a company announcement on July 31. Mining operations at Bawdwin, once the world’s largest source of lead, are expected to recommence in 2023. Social and environmental impact assessments have been carried out and arrangements have been made in case complaints by residents who inhabit the surrounding areas of the mine arise. A meeting with the public has been scheduled for this month.

The joint venture comprises Win Myint Mo Industries Co Ltd, a former subsidiary of Asia World Group, local mining company EAP Global Mining Co Ltd and
Australia’s Myanmar Metals Ltd.The joint venture has a concession over the Namtu-Bawdwin mine covering 38-square-kilometres. It has signed a production sharing contract with No.1 Mining Enterprise under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation to mine for lead, silver and zinc at the Bawdwin mine.
In May 2017, Myanmar Metals acquired an 85 percent interest in the Bawdwin mine for US$20 million. A scoping study was undertaken in December 2017.
Operations at the mine involve open pit and underground mining.

According to a report to its shareholders May, Myanmar Metals is currently still awaiting approval from the Myanmar Investment Commission, which had been
delayed by COVID-19, to proceed with mining activities at Bawdwin. It expects to receive an update before the end of 2020.
In June, PanAust, another Australian mining company, was granted a new gold and copper exploration license in Myanmar.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conversation on May 27 awarded PanAust with a license for the Wuntho 3 exploration block in Sagaing
Region.The Wuntho 3 block represents a 750 square-kilometre area in the highly prospective Wuntho Massif region.In Myanmar, PanAust holds a 90pc interest in Wuntho Resources Company Ltd with joint venture partner Myanmar Energy Resources Group International Company. Wuntho Resources holds seven exploration licenses that cover approximately 1,500 square kilometres in the region.

The company was first awarded with three exploration licenses in Myanmar in 2016.The developments come after the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation said in May that it would approve the applications of more than 150 new medium and large-scale exploration and extraction mining permits.
Part of the requirements for granting the licences are that the companies must have environmental management plans in place. In fact, the issue of new mining permits had been suspended since July 2016, but the ministry began accepting applications after enacting the 2018 Myanmar Mining
Rules to better regulate the industry. Under the new rules, foreign firms can invest in large blocks while local firms can work in all kinds of blocks. Large blocks cover up to 500,000 acres.Investors can apply to mine for minerals such as gold, copper, lead, tin and tungsten. The permits cover prospecting, exploration, and production.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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