William Boot reported in the Irrawaddy that Chinese companies would extract nickel in the Mandalay region.
The military government has signed an agreement to allow the China Non-Ferrous Metal Group to develop mines in the Mandalay region to extract a massive 100,000 tonnes-plus per year.
Burma's Ministry of Mines claims that the project will provide jobs for more than 1,000 Burmese, but observers note that China will be the main beneficiary.
"It's reasonable to say that Burma is being systematically plundered for its natural wealth by its big neighbors, China, India and Thailand," said one analyst with an economic development agency in Thailand, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.
It's just sad that Burma, as always, will keep selling raw materials because it lacks human resource, technology and facilities to make refined products.