- A roundtable business discussion on mining sector was held at MRTV in Nay Pyi Taw recently, during which matters relating to challenges and opportunities of the mining sector were discussed by U Khin Latt Gyi, Director General of the Department of Mines under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, Dr. Ye Myint Swe, Director General of Department of Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration, and U Tun Lin Shein, Chairman of International Inventors for Mineral Development Association
Q : Today’s our business talk, we are going to present on mining and jewellery sectors. First, mining sector plays a pivotal role in the country’s economic development, and it was learnt that rules are by-laws very important to manage the mining industry. As a director general of the Mining Department, could you explain about Myanmar Mines Law so that the people and investors can be able to fully understand it?
U Khin Latt Gyi : As you also know that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation assists the country in improving economic growth, and our country is rich in mineral resources. In the process of economic development of the nation, good management is of great importance. The government has enacted the new Myanmar Mining Law in December 2015 after amending Myanmar’s 1994 Mines Law, aiming to bring into force the new law and encourage increased foreign investment. Formerly mining sector had been supervised by the Union Government.
Under the new Mining Rule, regional and state government will also be given the authority to oversee small-scale mining blocks. But the regional and state governments will supervise the large-scale mining sectors. According to the section 11 (a) of Myanmar Mine law, the investor who got permission can carry out the mining production in accordance with the prescribed laws. Later many local investors are getting more interested in mining sector that can help the development of mining industry.
Q : Can I ask you some questions concerning challenges of mining industry? And what would you reply if you can find some restrictions and weakness are as an investor?
U Tun Lin Shein : As Director-General said, it was found that there are many local and foreign investors who became interested in mining sectors. The strength of the new law is that opportunities are given to change one permit to another because there are many types of different business permits such as small, medium and large permits. The good points of investors can be able to make joint ventures and partnering with foreigner investors. Another point is that permit may be legally transferred from one owner to another. Compared to former by-laws, we can see that there is some strength that can assist in doing an investment with a streamline process.
Q : How would you manage to prevent delayed measurements as of the Ministry?
U Khin Latt Gyi : This is such a good question, and many investors also ask similar questions by telephone or in person. It was found that the business permits can be able to change into medium type in accordance with the new law.
U Tun Lin Shein : Yes, it is. The process becomes smoother and permissions are being granted to extend the work permits that can avoid some undesirable problems. Regarding the report submission, is there any guarantees for the investors to get production or digging permits?
U Khin Latt Gyi : When we discuss on new laws, the investors have to carry out the process according to the procedures of the relevant ministry. In doing so, we shall grant permission if they meet the requirement of the law that was prescribed in section 10 (a).
Q : What I would like to ask to DG is that what are correlation between mining sector and socio-economic development?
Dr. Ye Myint Swe : Mineral products are essential things for our utensils, machinery tools, buildings and bridges. The exploitation of natural resources is the use of natural resources for economic growth of the country. Increase in the sophistication of technology enabling natural resources to be extracted quickly and efficiently in the future. Every segment of society uses minerals and mineral resources every day, thus it is associated with our society and socio-economic life of the people. Mineral deposits are keys to society’s development, therefore we need to reconcile mining activity with environmental protection and ensure future availability. Despite, and because of, all the technological progress, mankind is as much as ever dependent on the steady availability of a wide range of natural resources such as air, biological resources, energy, land, minerals, and soils. Minerals can be found throughout the world in the earth’s crust but usually in such small amounts that they not worth extracting. Only with the help of certain geological processes are minerals concentrated into economically viable deposits. Mineral deposits can only be extracted where they are found. We need to take into consideration of the mineral resource classification such as shape, size and volume so that it can be extracted with a smaller environmental impact. Generally speaking, there we can see many challenges and opportunities in the countries that rich in natural and mineral resources. If we can able to manage to exploit the mineral resources with effective and systematic methods, it can bring out the socio-economic development of the country. Or else, if we cannot be able to manage efficiently, there will come many consequences such as economic instability, social conflicts and later environmental deterioration that are needed to be careful. Mineral deposits are to be exploited as fuel energy, industry and utensils to use in our daily life. The profits and taxes derived from the mineral resources can alleviate the poverty of the ordinary class of people. Mineral deposits are vital to the development of both rich and poor countries alike.
Win Ko Ko Aung