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MINERAL RESOURCES

Major minerals produced and exported are cathode copper, refined lead, refined silver, zinc concentrate, refined tin, tin concentrates, tin-wolfram mixed concentrates and coal while gold, iron and steel, limestone and industrial minerals and barites are produced for domestic consumption. Barites powder produced is used by foreign oil companies working in Myanmar and by the State owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. Gemstones such as rubies, sapphire, colored gemstone and jade are also exported.

(1) Rubies, Sapphires

The best rubies and sapphire in the world are produced from Mogok, Upper Myanmar known as the Land of Rubies since 13 Century. The ruby mines are situated about 150 miles to the north east of Mandalay in Mandalay division.Sale of precious stones is done through bi-annually held gem emporiums, gem trading centers and gems marts and by private liscence holders. Sales vouchers issued by private licence holders with Myanmar Gems Enterprise logo are treated as export permits.

(2) Jade 

Jadeite jade is produced from the Kachin State in upper Myanmar. Jade which can compare with Myanmar Jade in hue, tone and texture is still not known.

(3) Cathode Copper 

Cathode Copper is produced from S & K Mine, Monywa in Sagaing division, Upper Myanmar. The mine started its commercial production in January 1999 and annual production at present is approximately 27,000 tonnes. The Mine is operated by Myanmar Ivanhoe Copper Company Ltd(MICCL) a 50:50 Joint Venture Company between the Ivanhoe Holding Ltd and the No. 1 Mining Enterprise, a state owned enterprise. Cathode Copper produced by MICCL is registered with London Metal Exchange.

(4) Refined Lead/ Refined Silver and Zinc Concentrates 

Mining operations in Namtu Bawdwin lead zinc mine started since the 15th. century. The Mine was operated by the Burma Mines Ltd prior to Myanmar's independence from British Colonial rule and became a joint venture operation in 1951. The mine is at present operating under No.1 Mining Enterprise. Other lead/zinc mines under No. 1 Mining Enterprise are Yadanatheingi and Bawsaing mines all of which are situated in the Shan States. Bawdwin underground mine has its own concentrating plant for upgrading of sulphide ores of lead, whereafter the concentrates are fed into smelter at Namtu to produce refined lead and refined silver and zinc concentrates. By- products are copper matte, nickel speiss, antimonial lead. There are private owned lead/zinc mines in the same region. Major share of lead/zinc production are exported. Silver and Lead produced by the No.1 Mining Enterprise is also registered with London Metal Exchange.

(5) Refined Tin, Tin Concentrate, Tin Wolfram mixed concentrates

Mawchi mine, situated in Kayah State was well known for its tin tungsten scheelite mixed concentrate in the world market before the world war, but most of the installations were destroyed during the war. Tin and Tungsten mixed concentrates are also produced from various mines in Taninthayi division. Heinda Kanbauk and Kalonta tin mine are major tin producing mines. All tin and tungsten mines have been privatised and at present there is no state operated tin tungsten mine apart from one tin smelter in Thanlyin.

(6) Coal

In the State Sector Kalewa underground coal mine and Namma opencast coal mine are operating under No. 3 Mining Enterprise. In the private sector, Mawdaung opencast mine in Taninthayi division is producing over 500,000 tonnes annually which are exported across the border to Thailand. Private owned coal mines in Shan State are operated by local entrepreneurs for local consumption. 120 MW coalfired power plant is being built at Tigyit in the Shan State and coal production will increase significantly in the near future.

(7) Barytes

There is one Barytes powdering plant in Thazi, near Mandalay. The powdered product is supplied for drilling wells under Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) and also for oil wells operating under joint venture agreement with MOGE.

(8) Gold

Kyaukpahto gold mine situated in Kawlin township Sagaing division is operated by No.2 Mining Enterprise, while private gold mines in Mandalay division, Sagaing division and Kachin States operate with production sharing contracts signed between the private mine companies and No.2 Mining Enterprise.

The government is working in joint venture with 3 foreign companies for exploration of gold and another company is already in the production stage.

(9) Iron and Steel 

No.1 Iron and Steel Plant at Pyin Oo Lwin smelts iron ore from Kyatwinye iron mine situated 26 miles to the south east of Pyin Oo Lwin. No.1 iron steel plant produces sponge iron, pig iron and steel, steel grinding balls and steel round bars. The products are consumed locally for construction works.

(10) Limestone 

Two types of limestone are produced in Myanmar depending on the physical properties. Limestone which is high calcium content with no outstanding physical appearance are fed as raw material for cement production while limestone with inclusions giving rise to beautiful texture and color are used as decoration limestone, known as dimension stones. One of the outstanding decoration quality lime stone mine is situated near Loikaw. Limestone production is sufficient for the local cement industry.

(11) Industrial Minerals

Fire clay, yellow ochre, china clay, asbestos, bentonite, feldspar etc. are produced from a number of deposits in Myanmar.

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