Jadeite Jade Mining.

Jadeite Jade mining in Myanmar's Kachin State.

The jadeite jade mines are in Kachin State around Hpakant and since the mining companies mostly owned by local Chinese and clans from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland don't care very much about the environment the local population is constantly complaining without any result.

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.

Jade mining rocks

Jade mining rocks

jade boulder outdoor

jade boulder outdoor

jade mine worker

jade mine worker

raw black and green jade

raw black and green jade

Rough Jadeite 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.

In a Hpakant Kachin state jade mine.

100 km west of Moekaung.

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 jade mining naturally it's jadeite but there are also other semi-precious minerals found here.

jadeite jade green and white colors

jadeite jade green and white colors

raw green natural jadeite jade

Raw green natural jadeite jade is very heavy

Above is show whats up in the underground. 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 are around Hpakant. But the environment is dangerous.

It took until the 186x that they realized that the term jade was referring to two different minerals which were jadeite and nephrite. However over time they found out jadeite was different to nephrite and was better for producing fine ornaments and carvings although there is no carvings at all what is called jade carving actually is jade drilling.

The Chinese were importing jadeite from Myanmar from about 1750 after the king in Mandalay gave a license to export the jadeite stone. The Empress Cixi (or Tzu Hsi) who ruled China from 1861 to 1908 and was known as a collector of the finest jade pieces. As a result, Chinese carvers called this type of jade imperial jade which has a deep green saturation and some translucency.

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. It is always ridiculous to notice the "western traveling" complainers who blame the people all kind of stuff but are never willing also to mention the source of it. The people are poor here they to live under this circumstances forget "western" parameter. Those are good for the EU / US but not for Myanmar, Thailand etc. There is no excuse, they cant live on insects.

Raw jade stones

Raw jade stones.

They are available in many shapes sizes and colors, Some are quite valuable. It depends very much if there are note many veins of different colors and how is the translucency level. The more translucency a stone has and the cleaner this color is the more value the rock has means the higher the price.

Partially opened

green imperial jade boulder.

The green jade color is exceptionally clean and saturated. It will be a source of great jadeite artwork maybe a beautiful Buddha Statue.

Raw jade colors.

The spectrum of raw natural colors is shown particular interesting in this photo.

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 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.

Smugglers make regular runs.

Smugglers make regular runs to small border towns where China and Myanmar "meet" such as Muse / Ruili and selling tons of precious jadeite in various sizes. Many checkpoints are along the miserable road to the north and rebels and the army has the hands open.

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 jade 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.

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 (2019) 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.

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.

With 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.

Jade Stone Trading.

Jade Stone Trading is a tough game since it is difficult to figure out what is inside the stone amazing surprises can happen that is the reason why most jade dealer cut the stones partially open to a peep allow into in.