Myanmar Civilian Government Sells Gem Mining Rights

By The Irrawaddy 21 February 2023

Myanmar’s civilian National Unity Government (NUG) says an entrepreneur has bought the rights to a gem mine in Mogok Township, Mandalay Region, for US$4 million to fund the revolution.

The NUG invited domestic and foreign businesses last month to invest in 45 gem mining rights in Mogok.

The investor will be granted the mining rights when the dictatorship is ousted, the civilian government said.

The mines will be operated as public-private partnerships with 51 percent held by the government.

The NUG’s Ministry of Planning, Finance and Investment announced on Monday: “We can confirm an overwhelming number of inquiries in the remaining 44 exclusive mining rights by email and through official agents.”

Planning, finance and investment minister U Tin Tun Naing said the Mogok mining rights project aimed to bring justice after gem mining has been monopolized by an elite for decades.

“Those businesses only served the interests of military dictators, so we are fixing this to serve the interests of the people and to ensure the country and its citizens get what they deserve,” said the minister.

The NUG’s planning and finance ministry says more than $100 million has been raised to fund the revolution against the regime.

The funds were raised by selling treasury bonds, auctioning off military-linked properties, including two mansions belonging to junta boss Min Aung Hlaing, and selling yet-to-be-built apartments on military-linked land. The NUG said buyers will be handed keys to their properties once the junta is toppled. The NUG says it has also collected 3 billion kyats in taxes in the areas it controls.