The government ceased issuing and renewing 8,000 jade and gemstone mining licenses since July 201619 กันยายน 2560
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: https://www.mmbiztoday.com/articles/8000-miners-await-legislation )