The government ceased issuing and renewing 8,000 jade and gemstone mining licenses since July 2016

19 กันยายน 2560
The government ceased issuing and renewing 8,000 jade and gemstone mining licenses since July 2016

8,000 jade and gem­stone mining licens­es have not been renewed since the govern­ment ceased issuing and renewing them in July 2016.

In their effort to reform the 1995 Gemstone Law, the NLD-led government has stopped issuing licens­es siting adverse environ­mental impacts, corrup­tion, and armed conflict caused by the previously monopolistic industry.

According to the Minis­try of Natural Resources and Environmental Con­servation, depriving the 8,000 license-seekers, large, medium, and small enterprises in Kachin, Sagaing, and Mandalay Regions, of permission to proceed has resulted in vacant mines from Mogok to Lone Khin.

“The number of vacant gem mines is increasing. We have received many requests from mining organizations seeking li­cense extensions, but we cannot approve them un­til the by-laws to the Gem­stone Law are passed,” U Than Zaw Oo, Director of Myanmar Gems En­terprise under Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conserva­tion, said.

In January, Paul Short­ell wrote in the Myanmar Times that when the State Law and Order Restora­tion Council passed the 1995 law, they effectively moved oversight of the gemstone and jade from the Ministry of Mining to 'special institutions'.

“This legal and institu­tional isolation allowed political and business elites to monopolize the benefits of gemstone ex­traction for much of the next two decades,” Short­ell said.

When the NLD assumed office in 2016, they sus­pended all licensing to amend the law to make it more transparent and in­clusive.

However, over a year later, law drafting and legislating in the Amyo­tha Hluttaw’s Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Conserva­tion is still ongoing with­out any clear timeline for completion.

Experts call for a law that unifies the differ­ent mining industries, provides transparent li­censing procedures, and a strong legal framework for governing the indus­try.

The NLD has stalled on­going mining operations to ensure the proper due diligence is undertaken and enterprises conduct Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Of 8,000 suspend­ed licenses, 1,000 are for gem stone mining and 7,000 are for jade mining.

Currently, there are a total more than 12,000 active mining licenses.


(Myanmar Business Today: )

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