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Grab for White Gold: Platinum Mining in Eastern Shan State

By Lahu Women Organization  •  May 7, 2012

Since 2007, destructive platinum mining has been taking place in the hills north of Tachilek, eastern Shan State, impacting about 2,000 people from eight Lahu, Akha and Shan villages. The platinum is being extracted by Burmese mining companies and exported to China and Thailand.

Five companies are currently operating around the Akha village of Ah Yeh, 13 kilometers north of Tachilek. They have forced villagers to sell property and land at cheap prices, and confiscated other lands without compensation. Hundreds of acres of farms and forestland have been seized, or destroyed by dumping of mining waste. The villagers’ access road to the main highway has been ruined by the passage of heavy mining trucks and machinery.

The main water source for local villagers has been diverted and contaminated by the mining, causing tremendous hardship for local women, who must now walk long distances to do their washing.

Women are also facing increased security risks from the influx of migrant male miners into the area. There is regular sexual harassment of women going to their fields. Young women are being taken as minor wives by the miners; some are also becoming sex workers. Mining staff have also been involved in trafficking of local women.

Download the report in Burmese, English and Lahu

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This post is in: Business and Human Rights, Environmental and Economic Justice

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