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July 16, 2020

Farmers blame jade mining for dangerous dump soil

Jade mining in Indaw Township.
Jade mining in Indaw Township.

DUMP soil from jade mining in Indaw Township, Sagaing Region, has deteriorated nearby farmland, said local farmers in the township.
Local farmers blamed jade mining companies for the dump soil that flowed into their farmland and for stones that fall on their land when the mining area is quarried for jade stones.
“The small stones fall on our land when they carry out mining and threaten our life,” said Daw Tin Mya, 50, a farmer living near the mines.
My one-acre plot has
been destroyed by the dump soil, she said. Also, the mud from the dump soil flowed into the farmland during the rainy season, destroying our farmland, said U Kyan Yit, a 65-year-old farmer.
Local people rely on growing crops and on digging for jade for their livelihoods. They have experienced job losses as jade mining companies have entered over the last year, said Ko Chit Win, 49, from the village of Buyaung.
However, U Aung San Oo, an official from Northern Star, a jade mining company that has explored jade deposits on two acres of land in the township using 80 labourers between 2015 and 2018, said they dumped waste soil from the mining on fallow land.
As part of its corporate social responsibility efforts, the company constructed
an earthen road linking Thuyaung and Khokaung villages through Nantyon village, he added.
Local farmers complained that the dump soil also threatens the environment because they are dumped in the local forest.


Maung Chit Lin


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