Villagers claim Heinda Mining company destroying their land

The Burmese authorities have warned the Heinda mining company, operating east of Tavoy, in southern Burma to improve and contain their work practices – that have destroyed villagers plantations – or their mining operation will be stopped.

Villagers in Heinda who asked not to be named, told Karen News.

“U Thein Lwin, the Minister of Forestry and Mining in Taninthanyi Division inspected Heinda the mine on July 4th and warned the company to improve its mining operations or it will be stopped. Plantations belonging to 11 families have already being destroyed.”

Myanmar Pongpipat Company Ltd is a joint venture under the government’s Ministry of Mines and a Thai company operates a tin and tungsten mine in Heinda, 45 kilometer east of Tavoy. The Heinda Mine concession area is 2087.06 acres.

Villagers say the run-off from the mine has affected 10 villages downstream of the Heinda River (Kay Ta) and Heindu (Kay Tu) rRver.
Villagers claim the Heinda mine has been polluting the water for more than 10 years. They said Myaung Pyo village is the worse affected as it is closer to the mine area.

Villagers told Karen News.

“Compensation negotiations involving the 11 families of Myaung Pyo village (who lost their plantations) and the mining company have run into difficulties. Villagers are asking for 60,000 kyat compensation for each betel nut trees that was destroyed, but the company refuses to pay as they claim the price is too high. At the time of writing, negotiations are still on-going.”

Villagers alleged that authorities have told them they will be relocated.

“The date for relocating the villagers has not been confirmed. We, the villagers, were here long before the mine was operational.”

Villagers say they have submitted their complaints to the Karen National Union, who received payment for allowing the mining permission to proceed. Villagers claim they are still waiting for the KNU to take action.

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