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1. This History Thread is about mining of an array of minerals in Burma (Myanmar) where the geology features varied north-south belts of ores that have long been exploited and exported without protection for environment or workers.
2. Burma trade routes for gems and metals including lead and silver date back to ancient times. #Shan ruby mines were known in 6th Century. #Kachin jadeite was first significantly traded to China (where it would become the obsession of Emperors) in 1784.
3. 1886 British troops took Mogok ruby mines. British surveyed southern Burma tin deposits 1888-1912. Bawdwin, Namtu Shan St. (mined from 15th C. by Chinese) under British exported silver, lead, zinc; future US President Hoover mining engineer there. WW2 Japanese held Bawdwin.
4. After Gen. Ne Win’s military took over Burma in 1962, mines/products belonged to govt. Jade, gems increased generals’ personal wealth while the country grew more impoverished. Ethnic armed organizations fought to keep control of mines such as Karen tin and Kachin jade.
5. Post-1988 junta opened Myanmar to foreign investment: predatory Canadian, Australian, Chinese, Thai etc. joint-ventures. $$ to military govt. No environmental protection. Nostromo report from 2000 link: burmalibrary.org/docs21/Grave_D…
6. Myanmar Mining Law has been revised & Ministry of Natural Resources & Environmental Conservation is in charge. But military occupation, corruption, resource-driven conflict continue. Pollution & unsafe conditions persist across sector. Mae Wong reports: channelnewsasia.com/news/videos/en…
7. Jadeite precious “imperial jade” mined in #Kachin land particularly Hpakant, Myanmar govt controlled, corruption, excavation. Frequent lethal landslides (54 miners killed 22/4/19.) Report @Global_Witness with photos by @minzayar88
8. Burma (Myanmar) long famed for gemstones, esp. high quality rubies, sapphires. Sold at govt. gem emporium. Benefits military; activists call for boycott of Myanmar “conflict gems.” Dangerous mining: story Hla Hla Htay photos @ye_aung_thu video @exiter correspondent.afp.com/myanmars-elusi…
9. Amber mined in #Kachin land reveals scientific discoveries about life in #Cretaceous period. Since 2014 Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) has fought Kachin Independence Army for amber mining area control. My Feb. 2018 thread about the Amber War:
10. Gold mining mainly in rivers, Kachin & Sagaing. Legal & illegal, large & small operations, local & military & Chinese owned. Mines in Hukawng Valley source of conflict. Contamination from cyanide & widespread mercury pollution. Story/photos @thevmilko frontiermyanmar.net/en/the-mercury…
11. Sagaing Div. Letpadaung copper mine run by Canadian “Toxic Bob” Friedland 1990s, since 2011 Chinese Wanbao Corp. Villagers protest social, health, enviro damage, govt. violently suppressed demonstrations. Report by @UnearthMyanmar (A+ source on mining) unearthmyanmar.com/en/story/shado…
12. Tin, tungsten, antimony in Burma (Myanmar) = severe pollution, erosion. Mawchi in #Karenni Kayah St. Heinda mine in south (story by Win Zar Ni Aung, Ye Htut Win.) #UWSA Wa region in NE gained major share of world tin production, now reportedly peaked. frontiermyanmar.net/en/tanintharyi…
13. Coal mining at several sites in Myanmar (Burma) for low-quality lignite, with pollution and health effects reported and protested in surrounding areas. My 2016 Project Maje report on Myanmar coal mines and coal fired power plants: projectmaje.org/coal_report.htm
14. Zomi villagers try to prevent nickel mining on mountainous border of #Chin State and #Sagaing Division. Other mining projects to watch out for in western Myanmar include titanium and aluminum exploration in #Rakhine State.
15. Mining sand to use for concrete can cause massive erosion. It damages coastal areas including southern #Rakhine State’s Ngapali Beach as well as the banks of Irrawaddy River. #sandmining frontiermyanmar.net/en/our-land-is…
16. Other problematic mines include Myanmar (Burma) govt. owned uranium mine in #Karenni #Kayah State (the ore is traded to China.) Destructive platinum mining in #Shan State. And a Canadian Company is exploring for lithium in central Myanmar. freeburmarangers.org/2019/04/03/ran…
17/17. Local activists & journalists covering mining issues face intimidation, arrests, violence. Myanmar (Burma) mining sector urgently needs local control, environmental safeguards, worker protection. My previous History Threads & report archive are at projectmaje.org
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