Myanmar: Local marble sculpture makers face difficulties following halt to renewal of mining licences

(Photo by Thierry Falise/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Local marble ware makers in Sakyin Village, Madaya Township, Mandalay Region, are facing financial difficulties as they have no chance to export their products to China despite large stockpiles.

Marble sculptures have regularly been sold in local markets and exported to China via border route.

The local makers sell their products after seeking permission for marble mining, licences for carving sculptures and export licences. In the previous years, they exported marble sculptures to China about four times a year.

However, they have not been in a position to export their products since January this year after the government had stopped renewing the licence for marble mining.

“We cannot export as we have no permission now. We have our sculptures in large stock. They have to be left in open air so some of them have been damaged. People from the whole village are marble ware makers. We suffer losses because we don’t have to export our products as scheduled. We can’t renew our licences. But we heard one company will be allowed to export about 50 tons. But this will not be OK,” said Aung Aung, local marble ware maker from Sakyin Village.

The renewal of marble mining licences has been stopped as authorities carry out inspections.

Various designs of marble sculptures are exported to China and price depends on quality and size.