Sagaing sees no environmental conservation measures despite gold mine operations

No environmental conservation plan has been adopted in Sagaing Region although small- and micro-scale gold mines have been operating there, said a regional minister.

Sagaing Region Minister for Natural Resources Lar Htaung Htan said small-scale gold mining had been approved in some townships of the region but no plan has been adopted for environmental conservation.

“The mining bill is still being drafted. That (environmental conservation measure) will come after the law and rules have been enacted. When the law and rules have been approved, we will do this,” said the minister.

One small-scale mine owner from Homalin Township said local miners had understood that the government is responsible for environmental conservation measures because it is collecting taxes.

For running a small-scale mine, a businessman needs to pay K2 million for mine closure, K2 million for environmental conservation and K400,000 for CSR to the regional government.

Some small- and micro-scale mines have started operation. But I don’t understand because the law and rules have not come out yet. As we have to pay those taxes, we understand that the government will take responsibility,” said the mine owner.

The Sagaing Region government approved small- and micro-scale gold mining in the region on August 6, 2018. Homalin Township has 205 small-scale mines and 27 micro-scale mines.

Source: Eleven Media Group

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