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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports: international 1972
Year 1972, Volume 3 (1972)

Wininger, Donald C
Burma,   pp. 179-186 PDF (770.5 KB)


Page 184

184 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1972 
uled to begin -in January 1973, by the Metallic Minerals Exploration Agency
of Japan. Preliminary prospecting, so far, indicates reserves of approximately
26 million tons averaging 1.3% to 1.5% copper.4 About 179 tons of copper
matte was produced in 1972, as a byproduct of refined lead from the Bawdwin
mi-ne. 
 Iron and Steel.—The Ywama steel plant remained the country's only
steel producer. Domestic scrap iron was used as feed for the furnace. Rated
at 40,000 tons of products annually, the steel plant has been running at
about half capacity. Bars and rods were -the main products, followed by wire
nails, galvanized iron, and barrel sheets. No further developments have been
reported on the plans -to build additional facilities for wire netting, roller
extension, tubes, and sheets at Ywama or on the plans to build an integrated
steel plant. 
Lead, Zinc, Copper, Silver, and Nickel. 
—The Government-owned Bawdwin enterprise in Northern Shan State, operated
by the MBC, continued -to be Burma's sole significant producer of nonferrous
metals. Zinc concentrate produced has been sold as such, mostly tce Japan,
whereas lead and o-ther materials have been sent to nearby Namtu for smelting
before marketing abroad, primarily to India as in the case of refined lead.
As of yearend 1970, this mining complex, was capable of producing annually
approximately the following: refined lead, 15,000 tons; zinc concentrate,
10,000 tons; silver, 1 million ounces; antimonial lead, 300 tons; copper
matte, 200 tons; and nickel speiss, 130 tons. 
 The average grade of ore at Bawdwin apparently continued to decline. Output
of concentrates from the mine increased; however, the quantity of lead a-nd
silver recovered declined. The old Namtu smelter with surplus capacity reportedly
produced 9,930 tons of refined lead in 1972, indicating about a 14% increase
from the pee.. vious year due -to increased shipments of concentrates received
from the newer mines. 
 In the Taunggyi District, the small Bawsaing mine also under MBC, which
controls all nonferrous base metal operations in the country, was being expanded
to produce about 1,000 tons each of sulfide lead ore, -carbonate lead ore,
and lead slag annually. The little so far produced has been sent -to Namtu
for smelting. 
 At the Yaclana Tehingi mine in the Nawnghkio District, Northern Shan State,
expansion to produce over 40,000 tons of silver--lead-zinc ore annually continued.
A powerplant, a mill, and a 32-mile road from the mine to Ohnmathi on the
Mandalay-Lashio highway have been constructed. 
Tin and Tungsten.—MDC continued to 
control most of the country's tin and tungsten mines, and government policy
calls for the eventual takeover of the remaining private mines as soon as
their licenses expire. Tin and tungsten concentrates were produced separately
or i-n mixed form, and their combined annual output has been about 1,100
tons of concentrates during the last 2 years, far below pre-World War II
levels. Although statistics are conflicting, Burma has been producing, in
terms of metal content, approximately 400 to 750 tons of tin and 200 to 400
tons of tungsten yearly. Most production has come from the Tavoy and Mergu
Districts in the Tenasserim Division near the Thai border. Additional concentrates
are purchased by the Government from small miners at relatively low prices.
 Under the 4-year technical assistance agreement between MDC a-nd the Soviet
Union to rehabilitate the Mawshi tin-tungsten lode mine, a Soviet -team of
five experts continued to evaluate reserves which were calculated at 831,000
tons of recoverable reserves grading 0.97% Sn and 0.52% W03.5 The initial
goal of the program is to produce about 100 -tons of concentrates monthly—roughly
twice -the monthly levels late in 1970. A decline in tin and tungsten concentrate
production was reported dur:ing 1972, indicating that the rehabilitation
program may still be having problems. 
NONMETALS 
Cement.—Burma has two cement plants 
operated by the Industrial Development Corp. One plant, located at Thayetmyo,
has two wet-process rotary kilns capable of produci-ng about 180,000 tons
per year. The second plant, supplied by Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan,
is located in the Kyangin area in the upper reaches of 
 Japan Metal Journal. Dec. 11, 1972, p. 5. 
 ~ Job, Arthur Leslie. Burma's Mines and Mineral Potential. World Mining,
v. 26, No. 1, January 1973, pp. 34—38. 


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