Company urges Mandalay to lift suspension of mining operation

A senior official of the gold mining firm National Prosperity Company (NPC) has appealed to the Mandalay government to lift the ban on the firm’s mining operation in Yamethin district.

U Tun Aung Soe, managing director of NPC, said that their company asked the regional government to allow them to resume mining operations in their concession area.

He told The Myanmar Times on Monday that according to Myanmar’s Mines Rules their operation should not be suspended because mine workers are facing hardship.

“We have reported our difficulties to the concerned ministry and regional government,” he said.

The government ordered the NPC to stop its operations on their 6105 acres in the resource-rich Moehti Moemi area on November 8, because of company’s failure to give the government their share in the concession.

NPC, which started operation in Moehti Moemi mine in Yamethin district in September 2011 has yet to pay 5.5 tonnes of gold (over 3400 viss) to the government because of low production.

According to U Than Daing, managing director of the government-run No.2 Mining Enterprise, the company was only able to pay 330 viss of gold.

“They promised to pay their debts but have failed on their promise again and again,” U Than Daing said. “That’s why we say we are still negotiating. If they settle the outstanding, we can then review their contract.”

The contract will expire in 2019. And then, NPC will operate on a product sharing ratio model. the total term of contract is 25 years, he added.

Last Thursday, NPC miners staged a protest urging the government to lift the suspension of the company’s operations.

“After staging the protest, we had heard they would resume their work,” said U Aung Myo Oo, regional Hluttaw representative from Yamethin constituency No.2.

“The township and district general administrators have warned that according to the law, actions will be taken for those who resume their work,” he said.

U Tun Aung Soe said that after ministry suspended the firm’s mining operations, only maintenance works are being undertaken in the mines.

“We have to do maintenance to keep the mines in operational condition. We have pumped the water out and maintained the machines,” he said.

“Currently, we have suspended mining operations and the firm has to abide by it. If not, we will take action based on the Mines Rules and on the provisions of the contract,” said U Than Daing.

Source : Myanmar Times

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