Slow pace of UK sanctions enabling mining business with junta from British Overseas Territories

December 11th, 2023  •  Author:   Justice For Myanmar  •  3 minute read
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December 11, 2023

Greenway Mining Group Limited, a mining company based in Kunming, China and operating through British Overseas Territories, is expanding its business in Myanmar following the military’s illegal coup attempt, providing revenue to the junta as it widens its campaign of terror.

The revelations published by Justice For Myanmar based on the company’s disclosures to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange before its recent delisting, come as the UK lags behind its allies in sanctioning No. 1 Mining Enterprise (ME 1) and No. 1 Mining Enterprise (ME 2), which are under illegal control of the junta.

ME 1 and ME 2 have already been sanctioned by the US, EU and Canada.

The junta’s minister for natural resources and environmental conservation, Colonel Khin Maung Yi, has also been sanctioned by the US, EU and Canada, while he has yet to be designated in the UK.

Greenway Mining Group operates two mines in Shan State, Myanmar. Since the coup attempt, it has been seeking approval from the junta to expand one of its mines and has organised the shipment of minerals to China, in partnership with ME 1.

The company, which is incorporated in the Cayman Islands and also operates in the British Virgin Islands, has earned millions of dollars in revenue during the past decade from its lead and silver mines in Myanmar, according to its financial statements.

Justice For Myanmar calls on UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron to immediately sanction all key junta entities and individuals in the mining sector, including ME 1, ME 2 and Khin Maung Yi.

Justice For Myanmar calls on Greenway to immediately end all business with the junta, in line with its human rights responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights.

Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “Greenway Mining is using British Overseas Territories for its business with the illegal Myanmar military junta, supporting ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity committed with total impunity.

“Greenway’s business with the junta, conducted via the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands, has been enabled by the UK’s slow pace of sanctions on the mining sector, which is a key source of funds for the junta.

“As the junta continues to lose ground, it is increasingly relying on indiscriminate air strikes and is desperate for revenue to sustain its war of terror.

“The UK and its allies must urgently coordinate to block all of the junta’s sources of arms and revenue, including from the mining sector, and support the people of Myanmar’s struggle for federal democracy.”

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