China gearing up for gold pickings in northern Burma (feature)

Written by Nawdin Lahpai
Thursday, 29 January 2009 17:53
Loads of gold are ready to be taken away by a Chinese mineral company from Burma’s northeast Kachin state after the firm found a gold load in the area during a successful preliminary test in late 2008, said local sources.

An abundance of gold was found in the areas around Khaunglanhpu (Hkawnglang Hpu) near Kachin state’s second largest N’Mai River following a recent joint exploration by Hla Pyit Win company owned by Ahdang and a Chinese mineral company from China’s Hunan province, said sources in Khaunglanhpu.

Businessman Ahdang also called Tanggu Dang is the leader of the pro-Burmese junta militia group called the Rebellion Resistance Force (RRF or Ta-Ka-Sa-Pha) based in Shing Hkong near Khaunglanhpu. The group has been permitted to dig for gold and other minerals in the area by the junta, according to residents of Khaunglanhpu.

The area was famous for gold exploration during British rule in Burma from 1824 to 1948, according to businessmen in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin state.

On January 22, Ahdang and his delegates met a group of Chinese businessmen from a gold company from Hunan province in Yingjiang city in China’s Yunnan province. The meeting mainly discussed the Chinese company’s desire to start gold mining in the areas soon, said sources close to both.

According to sources close to Ahdang, the final discussion between them will be held in Myitkyina, soon and they will start gold mining from early this year.

Ahdang threatens lives of locals’ dependant on gold

Ahdang’s militia group and the junta threaten the survival of local people who traditionally depend on gold mining work because they have taken control of all gold mining fields from the local people, said locals.

All these years, people in Khaunglanhpu have survived by exchanging gold with food on the China border because of the extreme wet weather in their areas do not permit growing crops except some corns, according to locals.

In this situation, local people who mine gold on a 30-mile stretch along Shang Hti River in southeast Khaunglanhpu have been completely prohibited from mining gold since early this month by Ahdang and U Ye Khong, chairman of the junta’s Khaunglanhpu administration office or city peace and development council. It has said “nobody can mine gold without permits,” said locals.

Local sources said Ahdang has already received 20 million kyats (US $17,857) from the Chinese company as preliminary cash for selling gold mining fields in the river area.

At the same time, Ahdang’s Hla Pyit Win Company also confiscated several acres of land from local people around Khaunglanhpu for gold mining purposes, added locals.

There are over 30,000 people in Khaunglanhpu and they are extremely worried about their survival because their rice pots — ‘gold mining fields’ will be handed over to the Chinese gold mining company. continue

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