Australian miner PanAust receives exploration license in Myanmar

PanAust, an Australian incorporated company, has been granted a new exploration license in Myanmar.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conversation on May 27 awarded PanAust with a new exploration license for the Wuntho 3 exploration block in Sagaing Region, located in the north-western part of Myanmar.

The Wintho 3 block represents a 750 square-kilometre area in the highly prospective Wuntho Massif region.

“Given our operating assets are located in Laos, we are well placed to effectively deploy an exploration team to investigate the site when safe to do so in accordance with local and international COVID-19 travel restrictions,” PanAust’s Executive Chairman Dr Qun Yang, said in a statement.

PanAust is a copper and gold producer in Laos, Papua New Guinea, Chile, and Myanmar.

In Myanmar, PanAust holds a 90 percent interest in Wuntho Resources Company Ltd with joint venture partner Myanmar Energy Resources Group International Company. Wuntho Resources holds seven exploration licenses that cover approximately 1,500 square kilometres in the region.

The company was first awarded with three exploration licenses in Myanmar in 2016.

The development comes after the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation last month said it would approve the applications of up to 158 new medium and large-scale exploration and extraction mining permits.

Part of the requirements in granting the licences are that the companies must have environmental management plans in place.

PanAust has carried out the exploration programs in Myanmar while adhering to international practices for environmental protection and community engagement, the company said in its announcement.

The move comes after the suspension of new mining permits in July 2016. The ministry began accepting applications after enacting the 2018 Myanmar Mining Rules to better regulate the industry. Since then, it has received more than 3,000 applications to conduct activities at the mining blocks in Mandalay, Sagaing and Kachin State as well as Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Tanintharyi, Mon, Nay Pyi Taw, Bago, Rakhine and Ayeyarwady.

Under the new rules, foreign firms can invest in large blocks while local firms can work in all kinds of blocks. Large blocks cover up to 500,000 acres.

Investors can apply to mine for minerals such as gold, copper, lead, tin and tungsten. The permits cover prospecting, exploration, and production.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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