Myanmar Presidential Office Minister Hla Tun told Parliament on Thursday that both the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) reports for the Latpadaung copper mine project will be submitted to the government by September.
Hla Tun, who is also the Chairman of the Latpadaung Enquiry Commission Report Implementation Committee (LECRIC), said that several recommendations and requirements has already been taken on board by the copper mine financiers, China’s Wanbao Company and Myanmar Economic Holding Ltd in a newly amended contract penned this week for the controversial mining project.
The enquiry, headed by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was launched after a violent crackdown by riot police on protesters, which including many Buddhist monks, on November 29 last year.
The enquiry’s report, released in March, confirmed that phosphorous was used in the attack on protesters, injuring some 80 people, but recommended that the copper mine project be allowed to continue on the main basis of Myanmar’s contractual obligation to the Wanbao Company.
Presidential Office Minister Hla Tun stepped in as chairman of the Implementation Committee, which requested that EIA and SIA reports be submitted for review.
Local residents from Se Tel and other villagers directly affected by the copper mine, which is located near Monywa in Sagaing Region, told Mizzima that they could accept the mining project if the companies involved could guarantee their best efforts in conserving and protecting the local environment.
In the revised contractual agreement, the government has inserted a clause stating that an independent Australia firm mange and review the EIA and SIA reports, and that a sum of US$2 million must be donated every year by Wanbao Company to support rehabilitation projects in the local area.
The new agreement also states that Wanbao must earmark US$ 1 million each year before starting production, and 2% of profits each year after the project begins to social impact projects, Hla Tun said in parliament.
Local resident Myint Myint Aye from Mogyopyin village said, “We hope Wanbao does well for us as we have suffered a lot from the effects of this project.”
For more background:
- Latpadaung mine contract amended between Myanmar and China
- Latpadaung Inquiry: phosphorous was used, but mining should continue