March 17, 2000
The Salween Dam Mineral Survey Continues
Since November, a geological survey to ascertain mineral potential along the Salween basin has been going on, said S.H.A.N. source from the north. Dr. Min Sway from Department of Geology, University of Rangoon, and his team went into the Tasang area, between Mongton Township, eastern Shan State, and Mongpan Township, southern Shan State, on 8 November with the drilling team of GMS Power from Bangkok. The team of 4 led by Dr. Min Sway was reported in Nawnglurh, a village halfway between Tasang and Mongpan again on 18 February doing survey under protection from LIB 520 (Mongpan) commanded by Maj. Myo Kyaw. According to the latest report, the team were up in the north in Loisang-Namlam, south of Tangyan, under the escort of LIB 507 (Lashio) on 8 March. Details of their findings are not in the report. The Shan State is reported to be the richest in natural resources in Burma. A GMS source told S.H.A.N. that it would want to excavate all the marketable minerals in the expected flood area before the dam is finished. A Thai team, led by Dr. Suphorn Khuttathep from Chiangmai University, is expected to conduct a socio-environmental impact assessment in the coming months. The dam project on the Salween has been facing opposition both from the groups in the Shan State and environmental organizations since the outset in late 1998.
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