The Kachin State government gave permission for small-scale gold extraction to begin in six of the state’s 18 townships on Wednesday.
A ceremony launching the initiative was held at the office of the mining department in the state capital of Myitkyina on February 20. The state government announced that it will permit the operation of 58 small gold mine blocks by 18 extraction companies—as well as two blocks for the handpicking of gold, in Machangbaw, Momauk, Shwegu, Sumprabum, and Waingmaw townships.
According to Kachin State natural resources minister Dashi La Seng, the move came after gold seekers applied for permission to mine in the state.
“Everything will operate under the laws—we gave permission accordance with laws and regulations because we want to eliminate illegal gold extraction,” the minister told KNG. “Illegal gold extraction has damaged the natural environment a lot. It also gives the state government a negative image. Therefore, we want everything to operate under the law.”
According to Dashi La Seng, a failure to apply for permission before mining for gold would carry strong legal consequences.
If companies apply for a permit to mine for gold in one of the other 12 townships, the state government will reportedly scrutinize each application separately.
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