The owner of this Myanmar mines are mainly rich Chinese in cooperation with locals and military.
Forests are vanishing water is poisoned and nobody cares about anything this big Chinese shots from Yangon and China just do what they want. Since they have the backup from the army means jade mining is not a real problem.
Rough Jade Mine
The result is freewheeling Burmese business around every jade mine where mountains are broken apart with dynamite.
Although the mountainous jungles of northern Myanmar (Burma) is still claimed by the Kachin Liberation Army KLA as their domain. They are also of no much help because they have their own business means drug production which is partly done here and a bit further east mainly by Chinese drug lords who want to be left alone.
Around the Hpakant (Pharkant) quarries in Kachin state, they have malaria, wild animals, poisonous insects, and reptiles. Living conditions are rather substandard which brings plenty of everyday problems. But here is the real jade version of a bonanza.
Myanmar Burmese Jadeite jade reserves in Hpakant.The mines are about 100 km west of Moekaung, accessible by train.
From there by car to Karmine and another 60 km to this area which is about 200 sqkm. Extraction work is done by private and government JV. Myitkyina is the capital of this Myanmar region is about one thousand kilometers north of Yangon.
Myanmar jade mines producing jadeite version stones the area for sure rich with immense resources to fuel a substantial jade industry with an increasing level of technology because a lot of money from China is fueling the boom. This strengthens additional exploration and development and they really blow the jade mountains apart, actually, this is jadeite.
To explore for a jade mine it doesn't need lots of reconnaissance geological work since the mineral of desire is everywhere in this area. Also, substantial deposits have been found in Khamti of Sagaing Region. The focus of exploitation and mining naturally is jadeite but there are also other semi-precious minerals found here.
A big problem are drugs.Because of the proximity to the poppy fields, a bit further northeast heroin is relatively cheap for the worker one shot syringes for $ 5,- and there is lots of business.
The dealer passes protection money to local military and police to keep problems away. Knowing the extremely low salary of this two uniformed party it is no wonder why it is like that. They do that since most have a family to support. Naturally, they have to think about their own families, it's the government who is finally responsible, why? If they pay them a reasonable salary there would be no need for this corruption in a Myanmar jade mine.
Photo from AP
The environmental impact of the mining system.The actual situation is different nobody really cares about the environment, its pure "hit and run" because the temptation of get rich quick is overwhelming. Even with this leftover from a bigger excavation a lot of money can be made.
The jadeite jade volume of the reserves is not really known the only they know is they are very huge over hundred of million of tons. The main reason why nobody has reasonable data is the war between the local people and the central government which keeps on going since British colonial times.
In recent times the focus shifted and is now supported by Chinese who are planting opium a bit further to the east and are taking almost all of the jadeite to the north over the border to have it manufactured for the Chinese market which is by far the biggest in the world.
Here are the biggest jadeite jade mines are known reserves in the world.Above are pictures of north Myanmar jade mines there are no other. There are also findings of jade stones and so-called "river jade" which are pebbles just carried by the water.
This road robbery is a big problem in the country. Even when traveling from the Thai border town of Mae Sot to Yangon the army and groups of Karen rebels do the same and that is not the “wild north east”.
Most of the green stone is shipped illegally to China and some find the way to Mandalay in the south of the mines. Already in the 19th century a Chinese Trader with some vision and money made some craftsmen travel to this northern capital to teach local guys how to make products and sculptures out of the rocks they carry down from the north. Especially now with the huge Chinese market wide open it became a real jade bonanza.
A substantial amount of the traded stones end up in Yunnan where it becomes local jade and at the Guangzhou Market. In the past, this kind of business hasn't seen a lot of industrialization which is dramatically changing after the foolish trade embargoes of the US and EU which pushed the Myanmar's into the Chinese direction. Actually the Burmese try to reverse the trend since the country was opened but the money trail was opened once and nobody can reverse that. It's just similar to the bottle has opened and the ghost is out now.
The Chinese Giant is like a Tsunami. Since the US / EU embargo also managed to block importing of heavy equipment, loaders, bulldozer, and mining equipment the Chinese were able to built up a strongly entrenched position since they delivered all of this without any problem. Although technologically inferior to western / Japanese machinery the Myanmar had not much choice because the US even pressured the Koreans not to deliver.
There is some small-scale production within the country in Mandalay.Currently (2018) they try to enhance local processing of jadeite products in Mandalay because the demand from people visiting the country is overwhelming. That also made prices to be doubled and tripled in the shops in Yangon specifically in Bogyoke Market.
In a Hpakant Kachin state jade mine
The whole jade business in Myanmar is full in the hand of local Chinese and Hong Kong businesses who have the whole chain under control from the mine to the shop and exporting plus smuggling. They are the only ones having the financing and investment capabilities and exports channels. This are some clans who came in from Hong Kong with tremendous money resources about 30 years ago and got support from the military in exchange for funds over the long term.
Here is more info what happen with Myanmar raw jade stones from the mines.That secured fully support for the development on the large-scale in an industrial-oriented direction not only in this business. It went similarly in the tourism business with all big hotels and resorts which all works the same way. Actually currently the biggest hotel investor is the Shangri-La group together with local Chinese companies.
The introduction of technical experts and designers.In recent years more than two million people from China settled in the Mandalay region for good and improved the jade trade there including manufacturing, design and implement good engraving technology. To learn new jade processes and advanced technology for innovation to produce high-quality products to increase the value of fine jade.
A rapid Burmese economic grow factor are jade mines.There is some implementation of brand strategies underway to promote jade originating but this is on a low scale since jadeite is only found in Myanmar in substantial quantities. If a visitor wants to explore the best "Jade Bazaar" in the world with an incredible variety of high-quality products have a look at the Bogyoke Market in Yangon. Products there are better than anywhere in China.
- Jade for Sale this is the final destination of the green stone.
- Rings and Bands are for sure some of the finest creations from the mineral.
- Stone Trading is a tough game since it is difficult to figure out what is inside.