Myanmar emerged from political isolation in response to the easing of international sanctions in 2011. Subsequent positive economic and political reforms have led to a major increase in direct foreign investment, with associated annual GDP growth of 7% between 2011 and 2018, making it the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia and a frontier market for global investors.
Recent positive changes to Myanmar's foreign investment landscape include;
In colonial times, the British discovered significant lead-zinc deposits in eastern Myanmar and exploited them until the country gained Independence in 1948. When coupled with the production from world-class jade and gemstone deposits and widespread artisanal mining of gold deposits, the country gained a reputation as a mineral-rich country. However, following the 1962 Military coup the country became politically isolated and closed to foreign investment until recently.
Because of the political isolation, the country has an immature mining industry and remains largely unexplored by modern exploration methods. Large portions of the prospective geology have never been mapped in detail and systematic regional exploration has never been carried out. Furthermore, the country has never been subjected to regional geophysical surveys which have successfully aided mineral exploration in more mature mining jurisdictions across the globe.
A further consequence of the lack of historical investment is associated with academic research within the minerals industry. There has been very little research undertaken to improve the understanding of the styles and genesis of the various known metallic deposits and hence there is a limited technical framework to apply to targeting with respect to the abundant metallic deposit styles.
Myanmar is one of the last frontiers for exploration and mining, with significant untapped mineral potential associated with several major metallogenic belts. These include;