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Myanmar is Looking to Integrate its Market with Global Markets

Khin Maung Han, President, Myanmar Federation of Mining Association, discusses about Myanmar’s potential as new market for gold in the region in a liberalized political environment in the country, importance of signing MoU with SBMA to enter its footprint in global gold supply chain and many more in a conversation with Bullion Bulletin. Excerpts…

What are the initiatives taken by your government to explore the possibility of identifying gold deposits in the country and at the same time, exploit them?

Our earlier government never encouraged the exploring of minerals including precious metals. Now the new government has come up and they are looking to establish free flow of goods including labour. That’s why we have started export. For gold, we want to integrate Myanmar with global market. So we set up gold central market in Myanmar as first step towards achieving that global market integration.

How much gold mining is taking place currently?

We have three sectors of miners – large scale, small scale and artisanal mines. We have also well defined law which stipulates product sharing, profit sharing, equity sharing etc. That’s why we are still domestically driven sector.

How conducive is mining policy to attract Foreign Direct Investment?

In Myanmar FDI are not allowed directly, but joint ventures can be done. The local company at least should hold 20 percent in the joint venture.

How much is the tax on mined gold?

All the minerals in the country belong to government, which means we must give royalty to the government. Depending on the minerals and production, we need to pay the royalty to the government. It ranges from 1 percent to 5 percent. For example, gold falls under 5 percent for all productions. Additionally, we need to pay commercial tax and corporate tax.

You have signed a MoU with SBMA. What is all about?

First to say, we are introducing ourselves, our products to a foreign market. SBMA is representative of ASEAN countries and so we have come to this conference (APPMC) and also signed the memorandum. If we become member of SBMA, we can introduce ourselves to other ASEAN countries so that we can source technology that we may need for, we can enter other market to trade etc. Our aim is to make our country’s product competitive to other regional countries so that people of Myanmar and economy of Myanmar could be benefitted.

Are you also looking to build a refinery sector as well?

There is need for world class gold refinery in Myanmar. We have to make sure the quality of the products which could be achieved through technological advancement of our refining process. We need to establish Myanmar Gold Standard so that we can make products truly at par with global standard.

At present we have refinery in the country and we can make 999 gold. But we need to upgrade the process so that we can produce 9999 gold.

We have currently small refineries in the country, but one refinery can refine 100kg/day at present. We are sourcing our raw materials from domestic mines and also getting recycled gold or scrap as our refinery feed.

Refinery is not the only one that we are looking to develop – we are looking to participate in global trade and for that reason, we are hoping that SBMA will help us in building that entire supply chain. Our government is looking to expand trade relationship to China on the east side and India on the west. Our mining law strictly conforms responsible mining and at the same time, sustainable mining. We have multi-stakeholder structure comprising government, the private sector and the civil society and together we are committed to responsible mining. We are also committed to protect our ‘environment’ while executing the mining activity.

Disclaimer: Views are personal and not the views of the publisher.