Sep 30, 2011

Nickel and chromite deposits to be mined in Chin State

Union Minister for Mines Thein Htaik said that nickel and chromite deposits in Chin State could be mined as soon as sufficient electricity can be guaranteed to power the projects.

“Four nickel deposit areas: in Mwe Hill, Webula Hill, Hakhalay and Nat Hill; and eight chromite areas: in Mwe Hill, Webula Hill, Hakhalay, Nat Hill, Bopibun, Muwelut, Maungtaw-Hnamataw and Falam were found,” the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar quoted Minister Thein Htaik as saying on Tuesday.

The newspaper said that the discovery represents 110.57 million tons of nickel ore and 38,100 tons of chromite. Many of the deposits in the area have been known for decades.

Earlier, in Myanmar, nickel ore was discovered in Tagaung Hill in Kyaukse Township; and Thabeikkyin Township and Mwe Hill in Chin State. Chromite was found only in Mwe Hill in Chin State.
New Top Hong Kong Group Ltd of China and the Ministry of Mines jointly have conducted preliminary surveys.

North Mining Investment Co Ltd of China, China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering & Construction Co Ltd and Guiling Research Institute of Geology for Mineral Resources have held discussions on exploration and production of nickel in the Mwe Hill area, it was reported.

Union Minister Thein Htaik said if there were sufficient electricity for the production of nickel ore at Mwe Hill, there would be good prospects for foreign investments, according to the newspaper.

Local area politicians said it would probably take at least a year to provide enough electricity to the area.

Pu No Thang Kap, the chairman of Chin Progressive Party (CPP), told Mizzima: “They conducted feasibility studies a long time ago. They said if the electricity was not sufficient, they couldn’t work. We estimate that they need one year [to start production]. The voltages in Kalay Township are low.”

The Mineral Exploration Corporation of the Ministry of Mines conducted tests for chromite in the Mwe Hill region in 1965-66 under the Burma Socialist Programme Party and the Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration Department in 1973, 1982 and 1999. Nickel was found on a wide scale while chromite was found in blocks, the newspaper reported quoting the records of the Ministry of Mines.

No. 3 Mining Enterprise and Kingbao Mining Ltd signed an agreement to conduct feasibility studies on nickel at Mwe Hill and found 44.89 million tons of nickel ore. The commercial-scale deposit comprises about 33 million tons of nickel with a content of 1.48 per cent of nickel on average.

Source: Mizzima