Kachin State jade-mining area to get environment plan

An environmental management plan (EMP) to regulate and ensure sustainable mining in Lone Khin area of Hpakant township in Kachin State has been completed, a consultant of the Australia-based company that drafted the strategy said Monday.

The plan, which included assessment of the social impact of excessive jade mining in these areas, was prepared by Australia-based Valentis & Coffey Co, and a local firm, according to Barton Napier, Consultant from Valentis & Coffey Co.

“The draft EMP includes plans to solve the possible hazards that can fall upon Lone Khin and Hpakant,” Napier said.

“In each stage, detailed plans are included to avoid landslides, to maintain stable, integrated terrain and to prevent flooding by controlling erosion and sedimentation,” he added.

After surveys and face-to-face interviews with local residents were conducted by environmentalists and geologists, details like animals and plants protection, waste management, dust reduction, noise reduction and replanting were included in the EMP, he said.

U Hla Soe Oo, joint secretary of the Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association, hailed the drafting of the plan, which he said, could elevate environmental management of the area in accordance with international standards.

“In addition to practical and internationally-compliant standards, that draft also describes management issues like rehabilitation and suspension of mining activities,” Myanmar Gems Enterprise Managing Director U Aung Nyunt Thein said.
“Mining companies will have to adopt those practices,” he added.

The draft EMP for Lone Khin and Hpakant will have to be implemented by mining firms led by Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association.

The Ministry for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation called for tender last year to draft an EMP for Lone Khin and Hpakant amid rapid environmental degradation due to unbridled jade mining.

“The Ministry aims to extract mineral resources in a sustainable manner to be able to hand over to future generations balancing with environmental conservation,” Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win said.

“To reduce the environmental and social impact caused by jade mining, an EMP is the first step,” he added.

Source : Myanmar Times