Myanmar - Mining

With the exception of precious gemstones, of which Myanmar had large resources, mineral production was small, and mostly for domestic consumption. The mining sector, including oil and gas, contributed 2% of GDP in 2001. Copper, tin, tungsten, iron, construction materials, and fertilizer were among the country's leading industries in 2002; precious stones ranked fourth among export commodities, supplying 2% of export earnings.

Outputs for 2001 were: copper (metal content), 26,300 tons, up from 6,700 in 1998 (ore reserves at the Sabetaung deposit were 51.2 million tons at a grade of 0.432%, and those at the Sabetaung South deposit, 13.7 million tons at 0.379%); tin (metal content, from tin and tin-tungsten concentrate), 230 tons, down from 335 in 1997; tungsten (metal content, from tin and tin-tungsten concentrate), 71 tons, down from 272 in 1997; jade, 1.7 million kg, down from 8.32 million in 2000; and spinel rubies and sapphires, 8.63 million carats, down from 14.45 million in 1998. Metallic ores of chromite, gold, lead, manganese, nickel, silver, and zinc were mined in small amounts. Industrial mineral production included construction aggregates, barite, hydraulic cement, fire clay, fledspar, gypsum, limestone, salt (including brine salt), sand and gravel, and silica sand. Lead, zinc, silver, copper, nickel, and cobalt were produced at the Bawdwin mine, in Namtu. No carbonate rocks, cobalt, or dolomite was produced in 2000 or 2001. Deposits of iron ore and antimony have been found.

The government controlled all mineral exploration, extraction, regulation, and planning through the two departments and six enterprises of the Ministry of Mines. In 2001, state-owned enterprises—whose share of output was 5.5% (11.6% in 1998)— operated one gold mine (the Kyaukpahtoe), three nonferrous metals mines (the Bawdwin, Bawsaing, and the Yadanatheingi), and two coal mines. Of the four foreign exploration companies active in 2000, two were active in 2001—mining gypsum, zinc, and gold. The Myalate Taung limestone resources, in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Division, had 291 million tons.

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