MAC: Mines and Communities

Demand for Galena Mounts from China

Published by MAC on 2005-10-24

Demand for Galena Mounts from China

Yangon: Kyaw Thu: Myanmar Times


The demand for galena - a mineral that contains zinc, lead and smaller amounts of other minerals - has grown threefold in the past year as China purchases increasing amounts from Myanmar. China has eagerly consumed increasing amounts of a wide range of minerals as its economy has boomed, said mining officials in Myanmar.

"Demand for galena has increased by three times this year," said U Khin Maung Htay, an advisor from Every Strong Company Ltd, which has plans to begin mining for the mineral. He said that in previous years only one or two companies produced galena, but this year the number has increased to six or seven.

Sandi Mining Co Ltd, started producing galena two years ago after acquiring a 150-acre mine 25 kilometres south of Pyawbwe in Mandalay Division, from which it exports raw materials to China via border trade. Sandi produces 10,000 to 20,000 tonnes of galena a year, said U Zaw Myint Shwe, the company's business manager. He said the company has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Mines to expand its operations to include new mining blocks. The company has also found new buyers from other countries, he said.

"We have received enquiries from Middle Eastern and ASEAN countries," said U Zaw Myint Shwe. Although Sandi currently relies mainly on manpower to mine galena, the company will start using more machinery when its operations expand, he said.

Note from Eric Snider: Galena is in demand in the electronics industry where it is used as an efficient rectifier for small currents of radio frequency.The main deposits of the lead oxide-zinc-silver group in Burma are found along the so-called Mogok belt, a mineral corridor that runs from Burmo-China ranges, through Mogok and along the edge of the Shan Plateau southwards through the Dawna and Tenasserim ranges. The two mining companies mentioned in this article seem typical of a growing number of small scale national mining outfits, attracted by industrial demand from China and other Asian and Middle East sources.

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