Plans are underway to allot some small-scale gold mining blocks in Homalin Township, Sagaing Region, with permission from the region government, and mining entrepreneurs are willing to receive permission as quickly as possible.
As per the mining bylaw, about four acres of small-scale gold mines will be allotted. Currently, they are running without a licence. If permits are issued, there will not be illegal gold mines. The plan for permission is said to be implemented within one month. I think we will receive permission in one month," said Kyaw Thura, chairman of Homalin Township Mining Entrepreneurs Association.
Small-scale gold mines have been allowed to operate under the permission and control of the region government with effect from August 6 this year. One mining block is about four acres.
"There is a mining area proposed by Nay Pyi Taw. We don't need to seek approval from the union minister. It is OK if those small-scale mines are outside the old areas allotted by Nay Pyi Taw. This will be checked by No.2 Mining Office of the region. If we apply for a block in the area approved by the region government, we don't need to seek approval from Nay Pyi Taw. There are a lot of mining areas in the region," said Kyaw Thura.
According local sources, authorities raided illegal gold mines in Homalin Township and incinerated seized equipment.
"Without giving licences, there will be illegal mines. If they become legitimate, the region government will receives revenues while a businessman can operate his mine peacefully. Increase number of mines is not a problem. As permission had not been issued for about two years, those small-scale gold mines were operating illegally. In mining blocks to be allotted, farmlands and creeks will not be included. So there will be little damage," said a gold mine owner.