Yangon – After 29 months of prohibition, private companies are authorized to resume jade mining in Kachin State in coming September.
“Owners have long wanted to restart their businesses. Both they and workers have work to do now,” said U Tun Hla Aung, Secretary of Myanmar Gems and Jewelry Entrepreneurs Association.
According to him, although miners are allowed to operate in September, because of the risk of mine collapse during the monsoon, operations will be likely to resume only after October.
Currently, the situation in Kachin State remains peaceful as Union Peace-making Work Committee has made progress in terms of the conflicts with Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and Kachin Independence Army (KIA). The Ministry of Mines announced that the ban on jade mining would be lifted for the improvement of the local people’s lives.
Currently, jade mining is permitted in Lone-Khin area in Hpakan, Mawlu Mawhan area, and Khanti area.
“Big companies have been asking for the permission for a long time. Everyone will be happy about the reauthorization,” said U Tu Khaung from Myitkyina Gem Trade Association.
Jade mining in Kachin State was halted since May 2012 when the battles between the Myanmar army and KIA escalated.
Official jade export amounted US$ 2,200 million in the 2010-2011 financial year before the ban and US$ 700 million in the 2011-2012 financial year. According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, jade export in the previous financial year totaled US$ 800 million.