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BURMA: Junta runs underground mine in Shan State North

May 19, 2010

The following article is reprinted with permission from Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.), Thailand.

Junta runs underground mine in Shan State North
©  S.H.A.N.
By Hseng Khio Fah
May 19, 2010

An unknown mining project by the ruling military is being secretly operating in Shan State North’s Kyaukme Township, local sources said.

The project site was located in Nawngping village tract, south of the Lashio-Mandalay highway. Security has been very tight around the site. Outsiders are banned from visiting the site including its own officers, a local villager who lives near the project site said.

The number of workers in the site is over 500 and more will be coming soon, he said. “Because of this news, many villagers from other villages have come to open shops and restaurants in the vicinity.”

The Burmese military has ordered workers not to release any information about the project, said another source. “They [junta] informed people that it is only for hydro power project.”

“Everything dug out is put in boxes and carried to Naypyitaw directly,” she said, “Workers also don’t know what they are.”

An informed source said Senior General Than Shwe, Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), was reported to have visited the site in the second week of April.

According to some local residents, it is expected to be coal mining as some of coal and metal company had reported been there for inspection two years ago. But others are skeptical, “Why should they be so secretive, if it’s only coal?” asked one rhetorically.


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