Mining to resume at suspended jade blocks

Jade mining at private blocks in Lonekhin and Hpakant, Kachin State, which had been temporarily suspended since July, have been permitted to resume this month, according to Myanmar Gems Enterprise, which is under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.

The suspension was ordered during the rainy season between July and September. While mining permits for some blocks in the gem tract areas have been expiring progressively since April 2016 some blocks have valid terms lasting until 2020, the ministry said.

However, the government will continue its current policy of not renewing permits that have expired. This is because excessive mining in Hpakant and Lonekhin had led to environmental damage and social issues in the surrounding areas, locals said. The mining area is also notorious for landslides, which have been fatal in the past.

The move is also to ensure that further environmental damage does not occur. Mining will be permitted to continue only after new legislation for gemstones has been enforced, said U Ohn Win, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.

The Myanmar Gemstone Law was enacted in Parliament in January this year. However, no new mining sites have been made available.

Source: Myanmar Times

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