MAC: Mines and Communities

Gems And Tin

Published by MAC on 2005-08-12
Source: Unknown ()

Gems and tin

Meanwhile there's increased buyer interest in rubellite in the Yangon gem market; a deposit was discovered at Molo on the Shweli river about 40 km northeast of Momeik in western Shan State a couple of years ago. No word on what group is carrying out operations there, but it's sure to be heavily involved with the military in some way or other. The Chinese buyers mentioned in the Myanmar Times article are probably not from 'Shweli' but rather from the border town of 'Ruili', a big centre for the jade trade.

A news story, published in the New Era journal for the week beginning August 8th, describes the Karen National Union (KNU)'s support for internally displaced Karen farming families in its remaining foothold in the eastern Tenasserim. It also says that some KNU income is derived from small tin mines which it operates in the area. The KNU is customarily somewhat vague about how much territory its 4th Brigade still controls, and where exactly this is located, but the story - written by the Czech journalist Max Wechsler - mentions the mountainous area east of the Tenasserim River, close to the Thai border in the northern Tenasserim. Several Burmese companies and at least one Thai outfit, the Myanmar Pongpipat Co, operate small tin mines in the Heinda area, east of Tavoy, and the KNU tin mining operations are probably in the same general area.

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