MAC: Mines and Communities

Burma Update

Published by MAC on 2006-03-06

Burma Update

6th March 2006

Russians eye cast iron plant for Shan Shate

In an interview on Russo-Myanmar relations in the Feb 13th edition of the Myanmar Times, Alexey Semenikhin of the Russian embassy in Yangon is quoted as saying that the Russian government-owned enterprise, Tyazhpromexport, is set to invest about US$150 million to establish a plant to produce cast iron in Shan State. No further information is provided.

Burma's second largest known deposit of iron ore, as yet undeveloped, is at Pang Pet about 10 km southeast of the state capital at Taung-gyi. A geological report published in the 60s estimated hematite reserves of 10 million tons averaging Fe content of 56.4% and limonite reserves of 70 million tons with Fe content averaging 42.6%.

The only mill that currently processes iron ore mined in the country is the state-owned No 1 Iron and Steel Plant at Anisakhan near Pyin-U-Lwin. The ore smelted at Anisakhan is obtained from an open pit mine at Kyat-win-ye about 40 km to the southeast near the border with Shan State. The Anisakhan plant was built by an Italian company years ago and is currently being upgraded locally, reportedly to double production capacity up to 50,000 tonnes a year.

The largest iron ore deposit in the country is apparently at Kathaing Taung near the jade mines at Phakant where there are estimated reserves of over 200 million tonnes with average Fe grade of 50.56 %. Petrographic studies based on diamond drilling at the site indicate goethite/limonite content of 75%, hematite content of 15% and magnetite content of 2%.

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