Investigation reveals gold mining destruction in Myanmar

A lengthy investigation published by Radio Free Asia is putting the spotlight on the disastrous effects of the poorly regulated gold mining industry in Myanmar.

From unprecedented environmental destruction to the human toll of low-paying and hazardous jobs, RFA’s multimedia story delves deeply into the consequences of the country’s decision to open its mines to both multinational firms and local operators after almost half a century of restrictive access.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, was under oppressive military rule from 1962 to 2011. In 2010, it started a liberalisation process and in 2016 it elected its first democratic government in decades.

In this new context, the Southeast Asian country started to attract investors from all sides of the world, who have been particularly interested in tapping into its almost untouched reserves of gold, tungsten, copper, and oil. The nation’s +$31 billion jade industry is also a magnet for foreign capital.

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