Ongoing mining in several areas of Kayah (Karenni) State extracts the following kinds of minerals: tin and tungsten, antimony, limestone and bronze. There are also plans to mine coal near to WaThawKo village in Demawso Township. Tin and tungsten is mostly mined in Mawchi region. Surveying for antinomy mining continues around LoiLinLay region of Loikaw Township. There is also ongoing surveying for limestone.
It is recognised that the mining projects in Mawchi region of Phasaung Township and other mining projects in Kayah (Karenni) State support the national income and the mining process is controlled by the central union administration.
The problem with mining in Kayah (Karenni) State is that many of the mining companies are armed groups. Behind them, there are investors (Both foreign and domestic) supporting, directly or indirectly, the mining groups with the protection of the government. The mining sector in Kayah (Karenni) State is comprised of the people that have a lot of power and the people that have a lot of money. Therefore, when problems emerge, the local indigenous people are afraid to speak out.
Pricing problems in Kayah (Karenni) State also result in illegal buying and selling of minerals. When the government gives permission to the mining operators, it is done easily without consulting the local people. These are the challenges and difficult situations that the local indigenous people are facing.
The government should not only get the local indigenous people’s agreement but also inspect before extracting minerals. Companies as well as the government must take complete responsibility for transparency and accountability before, during and after mining. The government must take responsibility for and create a state mining market that is appropriate with the local people. The government must also implement events to provide knowledge together with the state’s community based organizations on mining issues and mining rights to the local indigenous people.