Companies still owe gold to Myanmar govt for mining concessions: official

Small-scale gold miners owe the government some 13,300 ticals in ore, a senior government official revealed to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Assembly of the Union) last Friday.

Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ye Myint Swe said the arrears in payments for concessions granted to small-scale miners are from 2007 to the present. One tical is an archaic unit of measure for mass roughly equivalent to 16.3 grammes.

Of the total owed, some 1,679 ticals are set to be written off while the government will continue with efforts to collect the remaining 11,677 ticals from the companies that owe the arrears.

The Union Auditor General’s Office and former Ministry of Planning and Finance have already approved the writing off of 1,040.52 ticals owed by 19 companies, while another 639.35 ticals owed by 13 companies is pending approval to be written off, U Ye Myint Swe said, adding that the government is planning to prosecute 138 companies that owe 11,677.38 ticals of gold.

Starting in 2011, the contract system for gold concessions was changed to one requiring advance payment in gold and since then, no arrears have occurred, he said.

U Ye Myint Swe said that among the companies that owe gold to the government is Htarwara Mining Co, which still has to pay 113.053 viss (184.19 kilogrammes) in gold for the Kyaukpahto Mine project.

The debt from Kyaukpahto Mine project also includes 8.15 viss of gold for suspending the factory in owing to power shortages in FY2016-17 and FY2017-18, 57.05 viss of gold for substantial maintenance of factory for seven months and 47.8,905 viss of gold for not fully operating the factory’s mill, said the deputy minister.

Some 5.65 viss of gold has been paid for the factory’s mill and the Union Attorney General’s Office has contacted the company to repay the remaining outstanding debt of 42 viss under the contract’s term.

For the remaining debt of 65.2 viss of gold, opinions from Union Attorney General’s Office have been requested, he said.

The Kyaukpahati Mine project started in 1982 and according to the data, the reserve has few resources now and the agreement since 2007 was to pay all inclusive royalty fees of 7.65 viss per month. In March 2016, it was increased to 8.15 viss per month.

After Mining Law was amended in 2018, the subsequent contracts levied a mining tax on the actual production volume after the production expenses are deducted, he said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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