Thousands of miners in Mandalay division’s Yamethin township rallied after an order from the Ministry of Mining demanding the suspension of all mining operations across the country left them jobless.
On 16 September 2011, small mining companies were invited to participate in a joint venture with the Myanmar National Prosperity Public Company Limited, which previously won a government tender to mine a 6,015-acre site in Yamething’s Moehti Moemi region southeast of the town.
The NPPCL pledged to work with the smaller mining firms for at least five years. After negotiating an agreement with the NCCPL, the smaller firms claimed that the company provided them with no support.
The firms resorted to investing their own money, equipment and human resources into the project.
According to the tendered agreement, the NCCPL would provide the MoM with 5.577 tons of gold, while the smaller companies would receive half of the raw ore that they excavated.
The invested companies were informed by the NCCPL earlier last month that the MoM were halting all mining operations on 5 May in an effort to attract larger investments from international mining companies.
Residents from the area and miners began holding mass demonstrations on 1 June in response to the MoM’s move. The NCCPL’s general manager Htun Aung Soe is holding talks with the protesters but have failed to reach a deal.