State-Owned Mining Firm Threatens Lawsuit Over Unpaid Debt

By Moe Myint 21 January 2016

RANGOON — A state-owned mining enterprise has warned that it may sue more than two dozen gold mining firms for overdue payments, after the private companies violated profit-sharing agreements.

In an announcement published in state-run newspaper The Mirror on Thursday, the No.2 Mining Enterprise, which operates under the Ministry of Mines, said the firms had one week to pay up or face a lawsuit.

“According to our procedures, they [gold mining companies] must pay off their debt within one week. If they can’t, we will file in court,” an official from the state-owned firm was quoted as saying.

The announcement said that all governmental departments will be subject to an audit before a new administration takes office in early April.

Phone Myint, director of the No. 2 Mining Enterprise, said the venture is owed more than 90 pounds of gold from 25 small firms granted mining permits. Their contracts stipulated that a certain percentage of their product be handed over to the government.

More than 200 private operators initially faced repayment challenges, he said, but many were able to negotiate payment plans that allowed them to handle the debt.

The 25 firms with outstanding debt have worked in partnership with the enterprise since 2007-2008.