The move is to counter illegal mining, a state minister says.
The Kachin State government will allow small-scale gold mining in three townships in Kachin State, in the fifth round of permits granted on Tuesday.
Gold extraction will be allowed in Shwegu, Sumprabum and Putao in a total of 21 mining blocks.
“We gave permission for the gold blocks. Everything is operating under the law,” Dashi La Seng, Kachin State’s minister of natural resources, told KNG. “There is a lot of gold extraction taking place illegally in our state. We are giving official permission for gold extraction to prevent the illegal gold extraction,” he explained.
According to the minister, the permission was granted after members of the public put forward a request to the government to do small-scale extraction in the state.
The Kachin State government has so far given permission for 135 gold mining blocks to operate in eight townships.
The government will reportedly give extraction permits in Hpakant and Tanai townships, but representatives said they were not finished scrutinizing the applications.