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Mandalay Region Mining Dept to grant permits to artisanal, small-scale miners

Small-scale miners at a local mine in Mandalay Region. Photo: Khine Sett Wai
Small-scale miners at a local mine in Mandalay Region. Photo: Khine Sett Wai

To reduce illegal mining and create jobs for locals, the Mandalay Region’s Department of Mines will allow artisanal and small-scale mining businesses to seek permits from the regional mining block assessment team, said U Moe Swe, the director of the department.
Ahead of the move, rules and regulations that are appropriate to the situation in the region were drafted over a period of more than 3 months. With the regional government passing the new rules, miners will be able to apply for permits from 14 January.
“The State Counsellor directed us to eliminate illegal extraction. The regional government can generate revenue from the permitted blocks. So, we formulated the project at the soonest. Earlier, those permits could be granted only by the ministry. Now, that has been decentralized and rules and regulations in accordance with the circumstances in the region have been instituted. We have notified the opening date for submissions through state-owned newspapers,” he said.
The regional permit will open for exploitation, trading, and measurement of mines. If miners want a small-scale permit, they will have to apply through a company registered in Mandalay Region. Only one block will be granted to each public or private company. Meanwhile, artisanal miners can individually apply for permits per household. Those who have already got permission cannot seek further permits.
“Applications will be reviewed once a week. After they pass the screening stages, the related assessment team will inspect the sites,” said U Moe Swe.
The team will ensure permits for blocks do not overlap. If one block is proposed by more than one individual miner, the department will try to negotiate with them to combine their businesses. If they do not reach an agreement, the block will be put up for bidding. The department will focus on systematic procedures in granting permission.
To grant permits, the regional mining block assessment team was formed with officials from the Administrative department, the Forest Department, the Environmental Conservation Department, and other assigned departments of the regional government.—Khine Sett Wai (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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