Saturday, December 31, 2016

Huge jade stone found in Myanmar

The boulder was discovered in a mine in the state of Kachin, in the north of the country.
Miners in Myanmar have unearthed a huge jade stone weighing 175 tonnes, which might be worth US$170 million. The near-translucent green stone measures 4.3 metres (14 feet) high, and 5.8 metres (19 feet) long.
It's estimated that around 70 percent of the world's finest jade comes from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), with the industry making up around half of the country's gross domestic product.

As with most of the jade discovered in the country, the stone will probably be sent across the border to China to be carved into jewellery and sculptures. The trade is estimated at US$31 billion and has been described as the 'biggest natural resource heist in modern history'. The recently elected government announced reforms in August to end corruption, abuse, and environmental wrongdoing in the jade industry.

In response to a series of deadly landslides, the government has already suspended operations at more than 2,000 jade mines in Kachin state.