December 16, 2016

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Illegal gold mining leads to environmental degradation

Workers are digging stones in a cannal at a depth of 250ft in 2014. Photo: Maung Chit Linn
Workers are digging stones in a cannal at a depth of 250ft in 2014. Photo: Maung Chit Linn

BANMAUK Township in Sagaing Region is facing deforestation and water pollution due to illegal gold mining, locals say.
Illegal gold miners have been known to mine on farms and in forest reserves, which creates environmental problems, including deforestation and the extinction of lakes and reservoirs.
“Our company dug a mine to a depth of 250 feet. We have 40 night-shift and day-shift workers,” said a worker from a mining company which carried out the business legally.
Some people have even bought farms along the creek specifically to mine them. Gold mining with the use of heavy machinery is a major contributor to environmental degradation.
Banmauk – a resource-rich town in Sagaing Region – is connected by road to Pinlebu, which leads to Phaungbyin and Kawlin. Mount Santlon is a well-known attraction among domestic and foreign tourists in the area.

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