A Burmese company, backed by the Chinese government is preparing to test mineral sands on the Arakan coast to see if they can be used to produce Titanium and Aluminium.
According to an eyewitness, last week the Ray Myaeshin company delivered equipment to his village of Ahngumaw in southern Rathedaung Township.
He said: “We had never seen such machines in our area. Now many officials, some of them possibly Chinese nationals, have also arrived in our village."
The local authorities said that officials from Ray Myaeshin are in the area to conduct tests, which will continue for one year and that the Union Mining Ministry of Burma (Myanmar) had given them permission to do so.
U Maung Maung, chief administrator of Rathidaung Township said: "The company will examine the mineral sands from the shore near to Ma Kyi Chung in Rathidaung Township. It will work for in the area for a year,”
The machines and equipments for the sand-testing project piled up at Ahngumaw village
A Burmese geologist, who is helping to test the shore sand at the villages of Ahngumaw and Alaethankyaw said that heavy minerals such as Titanium and Aluminium had been detected in the sand there.
He said that the hoped that the country would financially benefit from the work because there is a high demand for such mineral sand in Singapore.
Many local residents have, however, expressed worries that the area might face negative impacts from such experiments and any follow-up work. They argued that the local villagers should be given adequate compensation from the project.
Edited in English by Mark Inkey for BNI