Jade Mining in Myanmar's Kachin State & China is a risky business. Jade mining is done deep in the mountainous jungles of northern Burma; this territory is still claimed by the Kachin Liberation Army KLA as their domain.


There is Malaria, wild beasts, poisonous insects and reptiles to be deal with, even today in the time of heavy machinery and paved dirt roads problems are encountered. Currently (mid 2013) it’s again the KLA which makes the biggest problems, in July fighting started and the mining where stopped although many mines are closed down during this time of the year because the heavy monsoon flooding makes it impossible to move around and landslides are rather normal.

Jade extraction is adventure business were lot of money is involved, today it’s not so much problem for the miners anymore since they have heavy machinery imported from China. The mining technique is still a bit primitive and highly dangerous especially underground.

There is also heavy damage to the environment but since this is a rather remote and not used mountainous region nobody really cares about. It also got a bit more civilized after the decreased use of dynamite.

Since this can be a very valuable stone many lucky ones who found one got rich overnight, it's very similar to the ruby and sapphire business at Mogok.

Trading is still a kind of gambling because nobody can look into the stone and figure out what type of jadeite will come to light when starting to cut the stones and boulders. In old days this was a highly secret business, bidding and bargaining were done by finger touching, holding, and pulling, etc., under cover of long sleeves or a large handkerchief.

The price finally agreed upon was never publicized, sellers and buyers preferred to remain anonymous. The treatment of jade stones start already here when traders and miners dye and manipulate the stones to get a better greener “imperial green and more translucency.

Chinese jade dealer have their purchasing offices at Bamaw, Mogaung and Mandalay where they have cutters trained by experts from China. The poor miners are Kachin, Shan and other who only get a meager salary although this is their land.

Jade jewelry are very “en vogue” today and since Chinese people are getting more and more money into their pocket its big business. At every Yangon or now Naypyidaw, Emporium hundreds of gem dealers come to the new capital and do their trading for several hundred millions of dollars.

The main buyers are Chinese and their demand grows continuously and Myanmar is practically the only source for quality supply might likely to fall short of demand sometimes in the distant -future.

Considering the large area over which stones are spread and the difficult nature of the country side there might be still a lot to be discovered. Actually that happen many times with nephrite the cheaper version of the mineral where China had a monopole for mining and now the biggest mines are in Canada.

Because of the opening process which the country experiences now better exploration and method of working the quarries will be introduced in the coming years and this open more mines.

Stay tuned to geohavens for looking lovely diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and latest updates. 





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