Extractive industries

Opinion: The Mekong Delta is drowning in ‘sand debt’ – it urgently needs a sand budget

any people will be familiar with the dread when your income no longer covers your expenses; when you’ve exhausted your savings and are sinking ever deeper into debt. In the Mekong Delta, a similar downward spiral is happening. But it’s not the delta’s finances that ...

Marc Goichot

Illegal gold mining threatens freshwater lake in Myanmar

Illegal gold mining is threatening Myanmar’s largest inland freshwater lake – which ethnic people in Kachin state depend on for their livelihoods – due to the increasing demand for the precious metal as the country’s economy teeters towards collapse.   U Aung Ko, a 60-year-old ethnic Shan ...

Maran

Myanmar’s environment hit by rare earth mining boom

Kachin State’s Chipwi Township in northernmost Myanmar is known for its pristine forests and crystal-clear water. But 10 years ago, local residents started noticing the patches of land that had been cleared on the lush mountains surrounding their town, which borders China’s Yunnan province. It started ...

Maran Htoi Awng

Collapse in minerals exports robs junta of key revenue

The closure of Myanmar’s biggest mines due to the post-coup conflict has contributed to an 80 percent plummet in export earnings from the sector over the last two years. Monthly earnings from Myanmar’s mining exports have shrunk from more than US$150 million to only $30 million ...

FRONTIER

Illegal rare-earth mining goes rampant in northern Kachin State

The number of illegal rare-earth element mining businesses in northern Kachin State has now increased much greater than the previous years, according to local sources. Locals say rare-earth mining was seen only in hilly border areas near Panwa before Myanmar’s political change in 2021, but the ...

TUN LIN AUNG (MYITKYINA)

Mining the Mekong: Land and livelihoods lost to Cambodia’s thirst for sand

Some 45 kilometers, or 28 miles, up the Mekong River from Phnom Penh, Voi Thy sat and watched as 12 boats pumped sand from the riverbed. Another 11 boats, weighed low by their quarry of freshly mined sand, were making the glacial journey past her ...

Gerald Flynn, Vutha Srey

Vietnam’s coal consumption to surge in 2025-35

Vietnam will ramp up coal imports in the 2025-2035 period as coal consumption is forecast to reach its peak between 2030 and 2035, according to a draft plan for the Vietnamese coal industry development recently released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Statistics from the ...

The Saigon Times

After Lao rivers run red, authorities order iron mine to stop production

Authorities in Laos have ordered a Vietnamese mining company to suspend its operations after it polluted local waterways, causing two rivers to run red, local media reported. The Company of Economic Cooperation in Vietnam (Coecco) runs a mining operation in the Boualapha district of Laos’ southern ...

RFA Lao

In Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, sand mining means lost homes and fortunes

When a riverbank subsided and gave way four years ago, Tran Van Bi’s house collapsed into a river in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Everything his family had accumulated over 32 years was gone in an instant. “At that time, when I heard the sound of screaming, I ...

Dinh Tuyen

Indigenous community mounts legal challenge to Thai coal mine development

Local opposition to a planned coal mine in northern Thailand escalated in April when plaintiffs representing more than 600 villagers filed a lawsuit requesting the revocation of an environmental impact assessment conducted and approved more than 10 years ago. Members of Kabeudin village, an Indigenous Karen ...

Carolyn Cowan

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