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Chinese jade miners in overdrive before Myanmar's new government cracks down


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Chinese jade miners in overdrive before Myanmar's new government cracks down
Hnin Yadana Zaw

Hpakant: Using heavy earth-excavators and explosives, miners have been tearing into Myanmar's northern hills in recent months in a rush to excavate more jade from the world's richest deposits of the gemstone before a new government takes office next year.

Hectares of forest have been felled, leaving behind craters, barren cliffs and a web of dirt tracks in the once-picturesque Kachin hills as the Chinese firms that dominate the jade business step up mining and aggressively seek new concessions.

They are anticipating the multi-billion dollar industry could change once Aung San Suu Kyi's election-winning National League for Democracy (NLD) party takes office with a promise of clean governance, those in the trade say.

The NLD has said it will bring in rules and competition and crack down on rampant smuggling that deprives the government of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue, but sceptics doubt it will be able to do much in the remote, rebel-infested region.

Full story: http://www.theage.com.au/world/chinese-jade-miners-in-overdrive-before-institution-of-myanmars-new-government-20151217-glqk9d

theage.jpg
-- The Age 2015-12-18

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The jade business is controlled by government officials and a few of their cronies. They're getting all the money. Hopefully, some will start trickling down to the general population and the monopoly will end.

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I went to the big jade market in Mandalay. Chinese is the main language and the big traders are all Chinese. Most of the time, nothing is said. Just hand signals. Hundreds of people buying and selling. With the buying being done by Chinese.

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i brought some nice rough and a few really nice rings when i was last in Mandalay in April, its a great market to Walk around.

The Ministry of Mines announced on 30 April, 2015 it will hold the 52nd Myanma Gems Emporium from 24 June to 6 July in Nay Pyi Taw, inviting local and foreign merchants.

The central committee from 1 May will begin scrutinizing jade lots to be displayed at the emporium.

Myanmar citizens operating government-approved mining and gem product businesses, as well as members of the Myanmar Gems Entrepreneurs Association, can visit the emporium, according to the Ministry of Mines.

Foreign merchants can register to visit the emporium at the ministry’s website www.mge.gov.mm.

Last year’s Gems Emporium generated a record US $3.4 billion and saw the successful auction of 6,007 of 7,454 jade lots, 126 out of 436 gem lots and 224 of the total 342 pearl lots, according to the ministry.

Over 4,000 traders from Thailand, China, Hong Kong, and Japan attended last year’s emporium, according to organizers.

Myanmar has started to hold annual gem sales since 1964.

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