MAC: Mines and Communities

Comment by Eric Snider:

Published by MAC on 2007-06-29

Comment by Eric Snider:

A couple of weeks ago China Nonferrous Metals was saying that it would probably have to wait until year's end for junta approval of their nickel project at Tagaungtaung. [see:]

If the Comtex report is right, it looks as if this approval has already come through, perhaps during the recent SPDC [Burma military junta] meeting at Nay Pyi Daw.

In taking on Hatch as joint consultants for the project design CNMC has hired one of the best known mining engineering firms in the world. The Hatch office in Brisbane is known as Connell Hatch and resulted from a marriage a few years back of the Australian engineering consultants Connell Wagner and Canada's Hatch, a private company which claims to have 7,500 employees world-wide working on projects through four or five different subsidiaries. Judging by its website, Connell Hatch has been mainly occupied with designing port and coal handling facilities as well as cement silos, heavy haul rail feasibility studies, coal bed methane and various sugar industry commissions. Separately, Hatch was responsible for designing Alcoa's Alumina Refinery at Pinjarra in Western Australia and several BHP Billiton projects. This can be checked out at:

Electric power at the nickel mine site may be a challenge. A big dam and 600-MW plant is currently under construction by a Yunnan consortium on the Shweli river some 160 km northeast of Tagaung. About the same distance south of Tagaung another group of PRC companies is involved in work on the 780-MW Yeywa hydro project on the Myitnge. Both projects are well underway but completion is still at least two to three years away. The mention of coal suggests they may be thinking of a smaller thermal plant at Tagaungtaung itself.

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