Environmental and Social Impacts of Mining in the Mogok Area, Pyin Oo Lwin District, Mandalay Region, Myanmar
Mogok is famous for its gemstones and also well known as the Ruby Land of the World. Geologically, there are two types of gem deposits, primary and secondary. Primary deposits are hosted in white marble with other metamorphic rocks. In Mogok mines, the primitive method is not used now, but modern mining systems are being used by means of mechanized equipment. Two mining methods are used, namely, open pit and underground. Since 1990, natural surfaces have been damaged by open-pit mining. This research has found that these methods have caused severe environmental impacts. They are geomorphologic changes, landslides, flooding, deforestation and water pollution. Most of the ethnic minority people and many migrants have become mine workers here in joint venture mining companies. Though these mines have been greatly extended, owners have no systematic plans or management of dump sites for removal of waste. The social welfare of the workers is not taken into consideration in their daily expenditure. Workers have to confront the social impacts of mining. The unconsolidated sediments have caused serious land degradation, and some drainage systems have been obstructed by human settlements. This causes flooding and landslides during the rainy season. Deforestation and replanting are also common. This research has focused on the environmental and social impacts of mining in the study area. It suggests that such mine sites need systematic mining plans, proper dump sites plans and wastewater plans to reduce the environmental impact in the settlement areas. Government policy is needed to protect the ethnic minority miners.
We express our heartfelt thanks to Professor Dr. Poe Kaung, Rector, Professor Dr. Aung Kyaw, Pro-Rector, and Professor Dr. Kyaw Naing, Pro-Rector for their kind permission to conduct this research.
We also thank Professor Dr. Helen James for helping us in various ways and for her valuable explanations and constant encouragement during the task.
We are also thankful to those who gave us valuable lectures, guidance and encouragement throughout the Gem and Gem Mining Course.
Our special thanks to the authority of Mogok for their permission to lodge at the place and to study in Mogok area as well as for their hospitality.
Finally, we render our acknowledgments to all the responsible personnel of Mogok Township.
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