Illegal gold mines operate unchecked in Myanmar’s Kachin state since coup — Radio Free Asia

Illegal gold mines operate unchecked in Myanmar’s Kachin state since coup — Radio Free Asia

Illegal cash cow operations have actually run uncontrolled in the capital of Myanmars Kachin state because the military took power 10 months back, raising concerns for villagers who invested years opposing a massive Chinese-backed dam job in the early 2000s.
Local sources along the Irrawaddy River in Kachin just recently informed RFAs Myanmar Service that unlawful gold mining operations began in earnest only weeks after the armed forces Feb. 1 coup. They said they fear the unregulated activities could harm the waterway and the surrounding environment.
A local who provided her name as Laura said that a gold mining operation in Myitsone is situated at a riverbend where the existing is incredibly strong. She said the mining affects the integrity of the banks and could lead the river to alter course throughout the rainy season, flooding nearby Tanphare village.
” Gold mining with making use of all this heavy equipment should not be done here. If they continue to mine like this, our Myitsone scenery will be lost permanently,” she stated.
” Tanphare village may also have flooding issues. Im really much worried that we would lose all of our gorgeous natural environment.”
Gold miners are digging up the Irrawaddy to collect the mineral from the riverbed, dumping the silt and wastewater back into the waterway and causing serious pollution, sources said.
Illegal cash cow have operated along the Irrawaddy in previous years, however few have actually made as big an impact as those launched in the consequences of the Feb. 1 military coup. In the 10 months because, Kachin has seen a significant increase in operations in Shwegu, Mohnyin, Chibwe, Sunprabon, Myitkyina, Hpakant, Tanaing and Waingmaw townships.
Myanmars previous military-backed federal government halted building of the controversial U.S. $3.6 billion Chinese-backed Myitsone hydropower job on the Irrawaddy in Kachin state in 2011 since of concerns over potential flooding and other ecological effects. Locals were likewise angry that 90 percent of its electrical power would be exported to China.
Residents informed RFA they would continue to combat environmental hazards to the area, despite who is in power.
Kyaw Naing Soe of Shwegu area revealed concern that the nearby traveler destination of Shwe Maw Gyun island, which is house to spiritual Buddhist websites, would suffer irreversible damage as an increasing variety of prohibited gold miners have actually shown up in the location by boat since September.
” The reason we are strongly opposed to these activities is that Shwe Maw Gyun island is among the significant landmarks of Kachin state and we dont want to see it destroyed,” he stated.
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Under the National League for Democracy( NLD) federal government, which was deposed by the military in February, the Kachin State Department of Mines had designated 223 gold mines and 262 small-scale individual mines in 11 municipalities as of May 2020. Dr. Tu Khaung, the minister of natural resources for Myanmars shadow National Unity Government( NUG), signed up with homeowners in criticizing the uncontrolled gold mining activities in Kachin.” It is real that gold mining operations have actually been on the increase in Kachin state considering that the coup,” he stated. The sharp rise in unregulated gold mining is not only a cause for issue for the environment however also for drug-related issues and numerous criminal activities, homeowners stated. Kachin states abundant natural resources– gold, amber, jade, copper, and rubies– have actually fueled a long-running civil war in between the Kachin Independence Army, an ethnic armed organization, and the
Myanmar militaryArmed force which have clashed over the control of mining areas used utilized finance their operations.

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