A company that is trying to extend a three-year license to mine near Chin State’s Tedim Township has been canvassing homes in three villages in hopes of collecting enough signatures to get the proposed project started.
The 3S Company, which was given permission to mine for chromite and marble in the Hpar Taung area of the Mwe Taung mountain range in 2016, was told that it would need the approval of area residents before an extension could be granted.
“The company’s three-year license is now expired, so it needs an extension. The respective authorities have asked for the opinion of local people, so the company has been circulating a petition to get the support of people living nearby Hpar Taung,” said Do Khan Mung of the Mwe Taung Region Development Organization, a local civil society organization.
According to Do Khan Mung, 3S is trying to get the signatures of people living in the villages of Mya Sein, Mya Lin and Shu Khin Tha, which are all located at the base of Hpar Taung. He added that many residents are worried about the company’s efforts.
“Some people have signed the petition, but most haven’t. They are worried about it because of their experience with the Mwe Taung-Hpar Taung project of 2013,” he said, referring to a proposed Chinese-backed nickel and iron mine that met with local opposition.
People who have been contacted by the company said they were told that no machines would be used to extract the marble and chromite.
The 3S Company tried to open a mine in the Mwe Taung-Hpar Taung area in 2017 but was forced to suspend the project in the face of strong opposition from those living there.
Hpar Taung, which is called Tobem in the Chin language, belonged to Tedim Township in Chin State until 2010, when it became part of Sagaing Region. Chin people continue to dispute the move.
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