Minerals and Mining - Burma (general articles and analyses)
|Title:|| ||Google search results for mining Myanmar
|Description/subject:|| ||About 15,800,000 results (10 December 2017)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||10 December 2017|
|Title:|| ||Mines and Communities Burma page
|Description/subject:|| ||295 results, December 2012; 327 results, December 2014, 349 (December 2017)|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Mines and Comminities|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||17 December 2012|
|Title:|| ||Mines and Communities Website
|Description/subject:|| ||The Mines and Communities Website ("MAC") was initiated by
members of the Minewatch Asia-Pacific London support group. Its main aim is to ensure easy access to materials published by the group, as well as partner organisations and individuals.
We want to make information on mining impacts, projects, and the
corporate sector more widely available. Above all, we hope to empower
mining-affected communities, so that they can better fight against
damaging proposals and practices.
The website is supported by: JATAM (Mining Advocacy Network,
Indonesia), Mines, Minerals and People (India), Minewatch Asia Pacific
Project (Philippines), Partizans (People against Rio Tinto Zinc and Its
Subsidiaries, UK), Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links (UK), the
Society of St. Columban (UK) and Third World Network Ghana. These
organisations are also represented on the editorial group which will
submit and monitor new information and contacts on which this website
can build......See the Country page for several dozen articles and reports on mining in Burma. MAC is one of the homes of "Grave Diggers: A Report on Mining in Burma" by Roger Moody.|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Mines and Communities|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 June 2003|
|Title:|| ||Myanmar Ministry of Mines
|Description/subject:|| ||Situated in South East Asia Peninsula, covering an area of 676578 sq km, Myanmar is endowed with rich mineral resources in which mining of precious minerals date as for back as second century BC. Myanmar Rubies, Sapphires and Jade are admired around the world.
Silver Lead and Zinc were extracted since 15 century AD and Myanmar stood as one of the leading exporters of tin and tungsten in the world market during 1930's.
"Ministry of Mines is responsible for Formulation of Mining Policy, Exploration and Extraction of Minerals and Gems.
Department of Mines is responsible for Mining Policy Formulation, Granting of Mineral Permits and Coordination of Mining Sector.
Mining Enterprise No. 3 is responsible for production of Coal.
Department of Geological Surveys and Mineral Exploration is responsible for exploration of Coal Deposits."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Myanmar Ministry of Mines|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.mining.gov.mm/Minister_Office/3.Minister_Office/details.asp?submenuID=4&sid=59|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||19 August 2010|
|Title:|| ||US Geological Survey (USGS) - Asia and the Pacific
|Description/subject:|| ||The USGS "Minerals Yearbook" contains an annual report on the minerals industry of Burma.|
|Source/publisher:|| ||US Geological Survey (USGS)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||21 December 2014|
|Title:|| ||Shan Organizations Call for Mining Moratorium
|Date of publication:|| ||12 September 2014|
|Description/subject:|| ||A coalition of Shan community based organizations has said a moratorium on resource extraction is urgently needed until there is nationwide peace and a discussion on the control and management of the country’s natural resources, much of which are in ethnic areas.
The Shan CBOs referred to an anti-mining protest held on 5th September by 3,000 villagers in the town of Namkham, which lies near the border of China in northern Shan State, as one example of how ethnic communities felt they were being negatively affected by the resource extraction industry...Muay Noom Hom, a spokesperson for the Shan CBOs, said that the government’s decision to engage in resource extraction before a peace settlement with ethnic armed groups was irresponsible.
“Naypyidaw is selling off all our valuable resources even before getting to the negotiating table. By the time a settlement is reached, there will be nothing left,” she said..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||KIC via BNI|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||21 December 2014|
|Title:|| ||Foreign Investment in Myanmar: A Resource Boom but a Development Bust?
|Date of publication:|| ||03 August 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||"... In February 2011 media outlets worldwide reported that China had surpassed Thailand as the largest foreign investor in Myanmar.1 China had US$8.25 billion of approved investment in fiscal year 2010–11 (which in Myanmar runs April to March), all for projects in the extractive and power sectors. It was the biggest investor in Myanmar’s FY2010–11 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) windfall of almost $20 billion — more than the previous twenty years combined.2 This was just slightly higher than Vietnam’s approved investments for the corresponding fiscal year, which totalled $19.9 billion.3 Yet the 2010–11 FDI figures exemplified a decade long trend of investment being overwhelmingly concentrated in the extractive (mining and oil and gas) and power sectors. Only 1 per cent of the FDI from FY2010–11 was outside these sectors, evidence that foreign investors saw few other viable investment opportunities in Myanmar’s challenging business climate. The majority of these investments came from neighbouring countries, most notably China, but also Thailand and South Korea. This is partly the result of Beijing’s often overstated but still sizable influence in Naypyidaw, as well
as its desire to secure natural resources from abroad and bypass the strategic chokepoint that is the Straits of Malacca.4 But the source of Myanmar’s FDI is also shaped by other factors, including different home country investment patterns. China, for example, is historically a major investor in resource projects. Singapore and Japan tend to invest more in sectors such as real estate and manufacturing, yet because these projects were less viable in Myanmar for the last decade, investors from these countries have often turned elsewhere. Despite oft-cited competition for resource investment in Myanmar, India’s actual investment in the country has been miniscule, though Indian investors have in recent years spent approximately 80 per cent of their FDI on mergers and acquisitions, which are rare in Myanmar.
The concentration of FDI has important implications for Myanmar’s economic development, as contrary to common perceptions FDI is not inherently or uniformly beneficial for a host country. Instead, the positives vary depending on the source and sector of investments, the forward and backward linkages they create with other parts of the economy, the number and types of jobs created, and the host country’s economic policies. Most of the FDI that has come into Myanmar in the last decade has created little direct employment and few linkages with existing industries, limiting their positive benefits. Despite this, FDI is still rightly viewed as an important part of Myanmar’s economic development.
This paper reviews changes in the source country and economic sector of FDI in Myanmar using actual and approved investment data from 1989 until 2011. The data has been disaggregated by country, sector, and for select years both. It looks at FDI in two periods: the first from the passage of the Foreign Investment Law in November 1988 to the end of FY1999–2000, and the second from FY2000–01 to the present. This division was selected because it falls at the end of a decade, during a lull in both approved and actual investment (after most of the projects approved before the 1997–98 Asian Financial Crisis had been fulfilled), and around the time when the changing trends in Myanmar’s FDI were first becoming evident. The paper starts by noting some caveats of FDI figures in Myanmar. It then reviews recent literature on FDI in Myanmar, before examining the major trends in the country’s investment data. The next section compares these trends with those of Myanmar’s neighbours, Vietnam and Laos. The paper then engages with the theoretical literature on FDI to explore what these investment patterns reveal about the macro economy, and how they are shaped by geopolitics, sanctions, commercial concerns and the specific investment patterns of each home country. The paper closes with a brief examination of whether these FDI projects can contribute to broad-based economic development in Myanmar..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Jared Bissinger|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Macquarie University|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (603K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||23 April 2016|
|Title:|| ||Myanmar considers the EITI
|Date of publication:|| ||13 July 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||"U Soe Thane, Minister of Industry...during the Myanmar Forum in Singapore...announced that “in time, we plan to introduce and practice Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (EITI)”. As part of its broader reform efforts, the government of Myanmar is now exploring the benefits of EITI implementation. “We are preparing to be a signatory to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative to ensure that there is maximum transparency in these sectors and try to make sure the benefits go to the vast majority of the people and not to a small group”, said President Thein Sein..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://eiti.org/|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||20 September 2012|
|Title:|| ||US greenlights investment by energy, mining, banking firms
|Date of publication:|| ||17 May 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||"...Clinton said Washington would issue a general license to permit U.S. investments across Myanmar's economy, and U.S. energy, mining and financial service companies were all now free to look for opportunities in the nation formerly known as Burma..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Andrew Quinn and Paul Eckert|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||25 May 2012|
|Title:|| ||Japan's Itochu joins the charge of the mining brigade in to Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||04 May 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||"It is reported in the Japanese press today that Itochu Corp has begun a feasibility study in the country to isolate specialty metals including tungsten and molybdenum.
This follows approaches by Japanese officials last year trying to get a deal with Burma for access to rare earths, the elements vital to Japanese industry’s high tech and hybrid car programs.
South Korea has also been lobbying the Burmese over rare earths. Chinese companies have also been eyeing projects in the country. In 2008, China National Petroleum Corp signed a 30-year gas agreement covering production from three blocks in the Bay of Bengal.
But this is only the beginning. The country will be a big target because it has bountiful resources in close proximity to resource-hungry India and China..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Robin Bromby|
|Source/publisher:|| ||"The Australian"|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||06 May 2012|
|Title:|| ||Burma bans mining on four major rivers
|Date of publication:|| ||30 March 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||(Mizzima) – Burma has banned mining of mineral resources along the country's four major river courses or near the river banks in a bid to preserve the natural environment, according to an order of the Ministry of Mines made public Thursday.|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||31 March 2012|
|Title:|| ||GEOMYANMAR 2012
|Date of publication:|| ||March 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||First International Conference on Regional Geology, Stratigraphy and Tectonics of Myanmar and neighbouring countries and Economic Geology (petroleum and mineral resources) of Myanmar|
|Source/publisher:|| ||The Myanmar Geosciences Society (MGS)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.12MB)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||07 October 2012|
|Title:|| ||The Yadana syndrome? Big oil and principles of corporate engagement in myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||02 January 2008|
|Description/subject:|| ||"... In debates about economic globalisation, the case for leading corporations to engage with some of the world's most desperate development challenges is increasingly
heard. In just the last few years, the World Bank and Mandle have shown that economic globalisation can operate to the benefit of the poor, Bhagwati and Wolf have issued powerful defences of globalisation, and Friedman has urged individuals, corporations and governments to seize the opportunities present in the increasingly "flat" world in which we live.2 From the peak of the international political system, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has endorsed all these arguments by holding that it is "the absence of broad-based business activity, not its presence, that condemns much of humanity to suffering."3 To stimulate action, he sponsored the UN Global Compact, dedicated to promoting responsible corporate citizenship throughout the
world, and appointed its principal author, Kennedy School Professor John Ruggie, to the position of Special Representative on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.
However, despite all the mood music lauding the contribution business can make to development, it remains an open question whether corporate engagement, and in particular inward investment, should take place in extreme contexts. On the one hand, foreign capitalist involvement in some industries, notably resource extraction, has long been seen as highly exploitative. For decades, neo-Marxist
critiques of capitalist underdevelopment held sway, stressing the extent of local state dependence on foreign capitalist interests, and the catastrophic impact of corporate engagement on local economic, social and political evolution.4 Notions of captured, rentier states mired in corruption and committed to systematic exploitation of Third World populations were commonly encountered. Few other than baleful local effects, generated by unprincipled involvement on the part of foreign corporations, were recorded. Today, criticism of this kind continues to be heard in, for example, responses to the World Bank's Extractive Industries Review, released in December 2003, which itself reached rather equivocal conclusions.5 Under the influence of more recent analyses of economic globalisation and its effects, should such activity now be encouraged? As economies are opened to the forces of global capitalism, is resource extraction to be placed alongside other corporate activity as positive and
constructive in its contribution to pro-poor policies?
On the other hand, all forms of corporate engagement with regimes that commit gross human rights violations are widely viewed as thoroughly unprincipled. For many years now, the sanctions lobby has trained a moral spotlight on inward investment in countries dominated by violator regimes. While the condemnation, and the resultant corporate pullouts, have always been highly selective, picking up on, say, Myanmar in the Asian context but making little comment on China, they have been no less powerful for that. Indeed, informal sanctions, targeting brands and
corporations with a great deal to lose from negative publicity, have often been much more potent than formal government sanctions applied by the US and some of its
allies.6 Again, under the influence of the latest writings on economic globalisation, should this activity also now be endorsed? Even in the most unpromising domains, can profits and principles be secured in tandem?7
This article tackles these issues by focusing on one very specific development context: Myanmar, or the country formerly known as Burma. By almost any definition, this is a difficult environment for poverty reduction.8 It is also one of the most unpromising settings for business activity, ranking last out of the 127 countries included in the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom of the World Index
for 2003.9 Furthermore, the kinds of extreme circumstance that generate the greatest development challenges are readily found here. Global corporations are engaged
in extractive activities that provoke fierce critiques. Reports published over many years by Amnesty International, EarthRights International, Human Rights Watch and other organisations document gross human rights abuse by government-backed forces in virtually all parts of a country of more than 50 million people.
Within this context, the article examines one particularly controversial extractive enterprise: the Yadana gas project, in which Western oil companies have long been prime movers. The debate that encircles this project is of course not unique. It is nestled in a broader discourse about corporate engagement with rights violating regimes all over the world, and reflected in specific ethical controversies thathave flared up in recentyears.11 When companies such as Carlsberg, Heineken, Levi Strauss and Reebok pulled out of Myanmar in the early and mid-1990s, they made public the moral concerns that prompted their decisions.12 Equally, some corporations targeted by campaigners have issued ethical justifications for ongoing
engagement.13 Similar divisions are visible in other spheres. While the Global Fund made a high-profile withdrawal from Myanmar in August 2005, citing intolerable
official interference in its work to combat AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, key internal groups such as the National League for Democracy and the Student Generations Since 1988 now call for humanitarian intervention; and international agencies such as Save the Children USA continue to operate inside the country.14 The Yadana project is special because this single case encapsulates Western corporate involvement in resource extraction in a highly repressive context. It also has the virtue of being very well documented.
The article addresses two main questions. First, is the involvement of foreignowned corporations in Myanmar's Yadana project to be welcomed? Second, with the experience gained from this involvement, can wider lessons about global corporate citizenship be drawn? To generate answers, the first section of the article provides some brief background material on the Yadana project. The second section then examines the cases made by its backers and critics, and evaluates the project from the perspective of its impact on the people of Myanmar. The third section focuses on wider lessons for corporate engagement that flow from the project, and in particular, the conditions in which inward investment in repressive settings is likely to be most constructive and positive in its effects. Applying these conditions to Myanmar, the fourth section considers ways forward for corporate involvement with the country.
The article closes with a brief conclusion. The argument is that it is not possible to reach an overall evaluation of the Yadana project. However, some principles of responsible cross-border corporate engagement can be derived from it..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Ian Holliday|
|Source/publisher:|| ||City University of Hong Kong|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.6MB)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||22 April 2016|
|Title:|| ||Turning Treasure Into Tears - Mining, Dams and Deforestation in Shwegyin Township, Pegu Division, Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||20 February 2007|
|Description/subject:|| ||Executive Summary: "This report describes how human rights and environmental abuses continue to be
a serious problem in eastern Pegu division, Burma – specifi cally, in Shwegyin
township of Nyaunglebin District. The heavy militarization of the region, the indiscriminate
granting of mining and logging concessions, and the construction of
the Kyauk Naga Dam have led to forced labor, land confi scation, extortion, forced
relocation, and the destruction of the natural environment. The human consequences
of these practices, many of which violate customary and conventional international
law, have been social unrest, increased fi nancial hardship, and great
personal suffering for the victims of human rights abuses.
By contrast, the SPDC and its business partners have benefi ted greatly from
this exploitation. The businessmen, through their contacts, have been able to rapidly
expand their operations to exploit the township’s gold and timber resources.
The SPDC, for its part, is getting rich off the fees and labor exacted from the villagers.
Its dam project will forever change the geography of the
area, at great personal cost to the villagers, but it will give the regime
more electricity and water to irrigate its agro-business projects.
Karen villagers in the area previously panned for gold and
sold it to supplement their incomes from their fi elds and plantations.
They have also long been involved in small-scale logging
of the forests. In 1997, the SPDC and businessmen
began to industrialize the exploitation of gold deposits and
forests in the area. Businessmen from central Burma
eventually arrived and in collusion with the Burmese
Army gained mining concessions and began to force
people off of their land. Villagers in the area continue
to lose their land, and with it their ability to provide
for themselves. The Army abuses local villagers,
confi scates their land, and continues to extort
their money. Commodity prices continue to rise,
compounding the diffi culties of daily survival.
Large numbers of migrant workers have
moved into the area to work the mining concessions
and log the forests. This has created a
complicated tension between the Karen and
these migrants. While the migrant workers
are merely trying to earn enough money to
feed their families, they are doing so on the
Karen’s ancestral land and through the exploitation
of local resources. Most of the migrant
workers are Burman, which increases
ethnic tensions in an area where Burmans often
represent the SPDC and the Army and are already
seen as sneaky and oppressive by the local
Karen. These forms of exploitation increased since the announcement of the construction
of the Kyauk Naga Dam in 2000, which is expected to be completed in late
2006. The SPDC has enabled the mining and logging companies to extract as
much as they can before the area upstream of the dam is fl ooded.
This situation has intensifi ed and increased human rights violations against
villagers in the area. The militarization of the region, as elsewhere, has resulted
in forced labor, extortion of money, goods, and building materials, and forced relocation
by the Army.
In addition to these direct human rights violations, the mining and dam construction
have also resulted in grave environmental degradation of the area. The
mining process has resulted in toxic runoff that has damaged or destroyed fi elds
and plantations downstream. The dam, once completed, will submerge fi elds,
plantations, villages, and forests. In addition, the dam will be used to irrigate rubber
plantations jointly owned by the SPDC and private business interests.
The Burmese Army has also made moves to secure the area in the mountains
to the east of the Shwegyin River. This has led to relocations and the forced displacement
of thousands of Karen villagers living in the mountains. Once the Army
has secured the area, the mining and logging companies will surely follow..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||EarthRights International (ERI)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (632K)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.earthrights.org/files/Burma%20Project/report-_turning_treasure_into_tears.pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||06 March 2007|
|Title:|| ||Mining, Gender, and the Environment in Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||November 2004|
|Description/subject:|| ||"...Women’s groups and environmental groups have much to gain by collaborating with one another on mining in Burma. To this end, this article offers additional background information that will be of interest to groups concerned with either women’s rights or the environment. Each section summarizes areas where these respective issues overlap..." "...I found this report to be particularly useful for the information and insights it provides into artisanal mining in Burma, especially the more recent developments in the Hukanwng valley in Kachin State that Alan Rabinowitz came across in his travels in the area. There are some tantalizing references to the Northern Star Co in Myitkyina which apparently controls all mining operations in the state.
Also very useful for the discussion of the various extractive methods used in artisanal mining and in particular the "cooking" process (referred to as "dohtar" in Burmese), used to extract small amounts of copper from mining residue and which the report describes as a a "less technologically sophisticated version of the copper solvent extraction and electrowinning pilot plant built by Ivanhoe in Monywa".
This article is very well researched. There are also updates in the same Earthrights report to the proposed pipeline to India from the offshore gas field in near Sittway and to continuing use of forced labour in the Yadana pipeline corridor in northern Tenasserim
..." - Eric Snider...
Extractive Industries in Burma: Mining in Comparative Context;
Challenges to Studying Mining in Burma;
International Women and Mining Conference;
Case study: The Gendered Impacts of Gold Mining Operations in Kachin State, Burma;
Key Health and Safety Issues for Burmese Women;
Recommendations and Areas for Future Research.|
|Source/publisher:|| ||EarthRights International|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (66K), html|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.earthrights.org/burmareports/mining_gender_and_the_environment_in_burma_3.html|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||05 December 2004|
|Title:|| ||Capitalizing on Conflict: How Logging and Mining Contribute to Environmental Destruction in Burma.
|Date of publication:|| ||October 2003|
|Description/subject:|| ||"'Capitalizing on Conflict' presents information illustrating how trade in timber, gems,
and gold is financing violent conflict, including widespread and gross human rights
abuses, in Burma. Although trade in these “conflict goods” accounts for a small
percentage of the total global trade, it severely compromises human security and
undermines socio-economic development, not only in Burma, but throughout the
Ironically, cease-fire agreements signed between the late 1980s and early 1990s
have dramatically expanded the area where businesses operate. While many
observers have have drawn attention to the political ramifications of these ceasefires,
little attention has been focused on the economic ramifications. These ceasefires,
used strategically by the military regime to end fighting in some areas and
foment intra-ethnic conflict in others and weaken the unity of opposition groups,
have had a net effect of increasing violence in some areas.
Capitalizing on Conflict focuses on two zones where logging and mining are both
widespread and the damage from these activities is severe... Both case
studies highlight the dilemmas cease-fire arrangements often pose for the local
communities, which frequently find themselves caught between powerful and
conflicting military and business interests. The information provides insights into the
conditions that compel local communities to participate in the unsustainable
exploitation of their own local resources, even though they know they are destroying
the very ecosystems they depend upon to maintain their way of life. The other
alternative — to stand aside and let outsiders do it and then be left with nothing — is
Table of Contents:
Map of Burma;
Map of Logging and Mining Areas;
Part I: Context;
General Background on Cease-fires;
Conflict Trade and Burma;
Part II: Logging Case Study;
Background on the Conflict;
Shwe Gin Township (Pegu Division);
Papun Districut (Karen State);
Reported Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts;
Part III: Mining Case Study;
Background on the Conflict;
Mogok (Mandalay Division);
Shwe Gin Township (Pegu Division);
Reported Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts;
|Author/creator:|| ||Ken MacLean|
|Source/publisher:|| ||EarthRights International (ERI), Karen Environnmental & Social Action Network (KESAN)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (939K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||07 November 2003|
|Title:|| ||Grave Diggers: A report on Mining in Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||14 February 2000|
|Description/subject:|| ||A report on mining in Burma. The problems mining is bringing to the Burmese people, and the multinational companies involved in it. Includes an analysis of the SLORC 1994 Mining Law.... 'Grave Diggers, authored by world renowned mining environmental activist Roger Moody, was the first major review of mining in Burma since the country's military regime opened the door to foreign mining investment in 1994. Singled out for special attention in this report is the stake taken up by Canadian mining promoter Robert Friedland, whose Ivanhoe Mines has redeveloped a major copper mine in the Monywa area in joint venture enterprise with Burma's military regime. There are several useful appendices with first hand reports from mining sites throughout the country. A series of maps shows the location of the exploration concessions taken up almost exclusively by foreign companies in the rounds of bidding that took place in the nineties.|
|Author/creator:|| ||Roger Moody|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Various groups|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.2MB)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||09 September 2010|