Some critical mineral and element occurrences and potential in Myanmar

Authors

  • THET TIN NYUNT
  • AUNG KYAW MOE
  • KYAW ZAYA
  • SAI PYAE SONE

Abstract

Critical minerals and elements are naturally formed materials that are essential to modern society for technology. Although the classification of critical minerals and elements varies among some countries, organizations, and industries, their importance is central to high-tech sectors. Some critical minerals and elements are important for energy production and storage, some for high-tech communication, and entertainment, and some for security and defense. Most of the critical minerals and elements are primary ore (or) elements, but some are the by-product of refining and smelting of the metal produced. Myanmar has a stratigraphic unit ranging from Precambrian? to Recent and its morphology and tectonic feature follow a general north-south trend. It is endowed with an extensive variety of mineral resources. Generally, it can be stated that critical minerals of Myanmar are rich in copper, lead, zinc, tin, and tungsten, fairly rich in antimony, nickel, and iron, and poor in chromite, manganese, platinum group minerals (PGMs), radioactive minerals, rare earth elements (REEs), bauxite, mercury, lithium, and uranium. In Myanmar, REEs, PGMs, titanium, and zircon are regarded as restricted metals/ elements. Most of the critical minerals such as REEs and lithium minerals, uranium and radioactive minerals are associated with the Mogok Metamorphic Belt (MMB), especially in the northeastern part, and the other 7 areas, the eastern and central granitoid belt of Myanmar. PGMs are mainly found in secondary placers of the Chindwin basin; titanium and zircon in placers and beach sand in southern parts of Myanmar; lithium in lepidolite mica and petalite in pegmatite dykes of the MMB; copper in the central volcanic belt, and Tagaung-Myitkyina belt; nickel and chromite ultramafic rocks of ophiolite suite of western fold belts; lead-zinc-silver-copper in stratabound & stratiform deposits in Paleozoic carbonate sediments and volcanic rocks of Sibumasu; tin-tungsten primary deposits associated with S-type granitoid belts in the Tanintharyi Region and SW of the Kayah State in Myanmar while occurs as placers at surrounding areas. The stibnite ores are generally found in veins or lenses and pockets as epithermal origin in clastic sediments of Carboniferous age and Paleozoic carbonate rocks. This study focuses on the potential for critical minerals exploration areas and discusses the need for special collaboration and research work on critical minerals exploration and production in Myanmar.

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2024-02-14

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NYUNT, T. ., MOE, A. ., ZAYA, K., & SONE, S. . (2024). Some critical mineral and element occurrences and potential in Myanmar. Thai Geoscience Journal, 4(5), 11–32. Retrieved from https://ph03.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/TGJ/article/view/1803

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