The British mining firm Aurasian Minerals Plc is reported to be waiting for “security clearance” before entering Kachin State’s Hpakant area, renowned for its jade, according to a report by Kachin News on April 6.
The firm announced in an update to shareholders in January that this past December it had delivered “three applications for mineral exploration licenses to the Myanmar Mining Authorities.”
Although the company did not say where in Myanmar these applications were made it did reveal that the applications were made in areas that according to the company there exists “jade and gem mining concessions”, according to Kachin News.
As the news service points out, the only known commercially viable jade deposits in Myanmar are located in Kachin state in Hpakant, an area that has seen repeated clashes between the government and the Kachin Independence Organization since a 17 year ceasefire collapsed in June 2011.
According to January's Progress Update the company noted that that its exploration applications for gold, copper and silver were “pending” with Myanmar authorities “due to the current security situation in the relevant areas.” According to Aurasian “when the areas have been given security clearance the authorities have indicated that they will then process the AuM applications after excising”.
Over 20 percent of the small firm’s shares are owned by US mining giant Newmont Mining Corporation, which was previously gold mining in Myanmar in the 1990s.