Of the 12 companies vying to form a joint venture with No.2 Mining Enterprise, the field has been narrowed to seven, according to an official from the state-run enterprise.
Seven local and foreign companies have been preliminarily selected to jointly operate the tin smelting and refining plant, which is owned by the Ministry of Mining, according to a statement from No.2 Mining Enterprise.
The selected companies are OM Manufacturing Co Ltd from Thailand, Thaisarco Co Ltd from Thailand, Myanmar Pongpipat Co Ltd, a Myanmar-Thai joint venture, Malaysia Smelting Co Ltd, Keiwa Innovation Co Ltd from Japan, Mining World Co Ltd from Myanmar and UMG Co Ltd from Myanmar.
U Win Htain, director at the Department of Mines, said, “At first there were 12 companies, which was narrowed down to 10 in November last year. Now there are seven left. One company which has sufficient access to technology and funds will be selected to form a joint venture with No.2 mining enterprise.”
The three eliminated in this round were Ruili San Lian Co Ltd from China, Ruby Garden Mining Co Ltd and Celebrity Street Co Ltd from Myanmar, according to U Win Htain.
The tender was first called by No.2 Mining Enterprise in September last year.
The plant is still operating at present. The degree of investment by one of these companies is not yet known. No.2 Mining Enterprise will announce the final selection.
U Win Htain said, “The plant is still operating but it needs upgrade. When the operation starts with the cooperation of selected company, we will use their advanced technology.”
The move is part of a bigger push from developing nations to capture more value from their mineral wealth by building up their own minerals processing industries before export.
Myanmar supplies almost all of China’s tin ore import needs. China is the world’s top tin producer, but consumes most of what it gets from its own mines and infrequently exports to world markets. The creation of a tin processing industry in Myanmar could ease the stranglehold that top exporter Indonesia holds on the world market for refined tin.
In April, prices for tin, which is used mainly in the consumer-electronics industry, hit 5 1/2-year lows on the London Metal Exchange, largely due to a flood of supply from Myanmar.