YANGON (Eleven Media Grouo/Asia News Network): Gold mining has re-started at the Indawgyi aread in Moehnyin township, Kachin State.
According to locals, in early October 45 backhoes were seized at gold mines between Ma Monkaing village and Indawgyi (Lonetone) and work was stopped. But this week, some have started mining mining actvities once againe.
“We’ve seen tens of backhoes digging for gold. Although the locals don’t support illegal gold mining, those groups involved in the mining have got protection from armed groups. So no one dares to stop them,” said a local.
45 backhoes which were digging gold in early October were forced to drive to Hopin based military unit and these backhoes were auctioned in Myitkyina according to a man close to a backhoe owner.
Illegal gold mining is carried out around Maing Naung creek, between Maing Naung and Indawgyi, upper Nyaungbin village and along Nant Tain creek which is among Indawgyi bio reserve.
Gold mining began in the Indawgyi region after the year 2000. Since then, there have been such consequences as damaged forests and farmlands and depleting fish species.
Due to excessive mining, locals can no longer drink water from the lake. Indawgyi Lake was designated as Indawgyi, a Wildlife Sanctuary (1999), and a Unesco Biosphere Reserve (2017). It is the largest inland lake in Myanmar.