Friday, 20 June 2008

Junta halts gold mining temporarily in Nam San Yang

Kachin News

Gold mining areas in Nam San Yang village, 50 miles southeast of Myitkyina, in Waingmaw Township has been temporarily halted by Burmese military junta authorities in Kachin State, northern Burma. The areas are near the KIO business centre and its headquarters in Laiza. The closure has come into effect since last week, a source said.

The reason behind the closure of the gold mining areas in Nam San Yang has to do with the friction between the Burmese authorities in Nam San Yang and Chinese gold miners, said a resident in Myitkyina, who recently came from the area.

Chinese gold miners were mining in the areas without permission from the Burmese authorities. They were also extending the mining area affecting other gold miners. The other gold miners complained about it leading to the temporary closure, said a resident.

Chinese gold miners have already applied for permission from the authorities but have not received official permission yet, added a resident.

Nam San Yang village is one of the best gold mining areas and mining started here in 2007. The area is controlled by both the Burmese Army and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).

According to villagers of Nam San Yang, some villagers who owned farms in the area sold out their farm land for mining to the gold mining company. They sold one acre for 10 million Kyat (est. US $ 8,889) while some sold for 20 million Kyat (est. US $ 17,778).

Once some farmers sold out their farm others followed suit because with mining in the area the soil cannot be used to grow rice, a villager said.

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