Workers at the world’s largest complex for the extraction of the precious mineral work in subhuman conditions
More than 100 people are missing after the collapse of a mine jade in northern Myanmar. The landslide occurred during the early morning in Hpakant, in Kachin state, and could have dragged more than a hundred people, according to the newspaper. The Irrawaddy. Last weekend there was another similar accident that left six dead in the same mining complex, the largest in the world dedicated to jade, reported the local portal Mizzima.
These types of events are frequent in Hpakant, where miners work in extremely precarious conditions. In July 2020 an avalanche buried more than 160 miners while they were extracting the coveted jade from the excavated slopes in the midst of torrential rain, and a year earlier at least 54 people were killed by a landslide at another point in the mining complex, located about 800 kilometers north of the capital , Naipyidó.
The jade mines, to which the foreign press is banned, have become a magnet for thousands of impoverished Burmese from all over the country, but in most cases Benefits son scarce and the risks son elevated. Myanmar is the world’s largest producer of jadeite, a prized variety of jade that is mainly mined in the Kachin Mountains and is especially coveted in neighboring China, where most exports go.
Dozens of people die every year working in the lucrative and poorly regulated jade industry in Myanmar, which thrives on underpaid migrants to mine this highly coveted gem in neighboring China.
The fight for control of these mines it usually catches civilians in the middle. In addition, this business is increasingly associated with other illicit activities such as drug and arms trafficking.