Mandalay trader petitions for mining halt

A Mandalay trader is circulating a petition calling for an immediate but temporary halt to jade mining and a revamp of export procedures, warning the Mandalay market could be headed for disaster if business continues as usual. The petition will shortly be submitted to a Regional and Union-level officials, with its main backer hoping it […]

Over-Extraction, Chinese Slowdown Blamed for Jade Price Slump ​​

RANGOON — With the government’s biannual gem emporium looming at the end of this month, prices for Burmese jade have continued to slide against weakening demand. Industry insiders have blamed an economic slowdown in China, over-extraction in jade mines, and market uncertainty linked to the transition of power to a democratically elected government in Burma. […]

In Burma’s wildest corner, jade, drugs and rebels will test the new government

MYITKYINA, Burma — The jade tycoon of Burma lives behind stone walls and a sophisticated security system. A visitor must be buzzed through a gate into the garden, pass a hunk of jade as big as a compact refrigerator, enter through a sliding screen and glide by the preserved tusks of the family elephant before sitting […]

Cutting down Myanmar’s forests a hard knock life for Chinese

“Dangerous places hold a lot of opportunity, so everyone wants to get a piece of the action,” said Liu Wei (pseudonym) in an attempt to explain why he goes logging in northern Myanmar, in an interview with the Chinese-language Beijing News. The local militia grant them permission but logging activities are forbidden by the central […]

The smuggled stone that was once more precious than gold

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is one of the world’s largest Jade producers – but with trade bound by international sanctions, many of the precious gemstones are smuggled out of the country. At first, I think it’s a waterfall. A wave of liquid sound comes towards me over the brackish waters of the Irrawaddy River. […]

Jade Mines to Resume Operations in Kachin State: Burmese Govt

YANGON — In northern Myanmar, where the vast majority of the world’s jade is produced, mining companies will soon be allowed to resume operations, following a two-year hiatus due to armed conflicts. The Ministry of Mines announced Tuesday that small- and large-scale miners can return September 1 to the resource-rich Kachin State. Mining operations were […]

Jade Emporium Sales Soar to $3.4Bln

YANGON — Jade sales at Myanmar’s major gems emporium held in Naypyidaw last week have surpassed expectations and reached about 2.6 billion euro (US $3.4 billion), up from about 2 billion euro ($2.6 billion) last year, a Ministry of Mines official said. A senior official at Ministry’s Myanma Gems Enterprise told The Irrawaddy that some […]

China loan suspensions hurt Mandalay jade market

A recent change in policy by the Chinese government, to stop giving loans to jade merchants, has affected trade at the world-famous jade market in Mandalay frequented by Chinese jewellers and tourists. Sein Win, a jade merchant and chairman of the market’s Philanthropist Association, said the market has been quiet since the loan suspension was […]

Tycoon’s Plans for Putao Come under Scrutiny

MYITKYINA, Kachin State — Surrounded by Myanmar’s highest, snow-capped mountains, the remote and rugged Putao Valley in northern Kachin State is a place of stunning beauty and pristine mountain landscapes. This wilderness amid the Himalayan foothills is home to unique wildlife and vast forests, endangered Himalayan Yew trees and rare orchids, and even a small […]

Myanmar’s Old Guard Clings to $8B Jade Empire

HPAKANT, Kachin State — Tin Tun picked all night through teetering heaps of rubble to find the palm-sized lump of jade he now holds in his hand. He hopes it will make him a fortune. It’s happened before. “Last year I found a stone worth 50 million kyat,” he said, trekking past the craters and […]