Jade Mining to Continue Despite Conflict, Ministry Says

Jade mining operations in northern Burma’s Kachin State will not be officially halted due to ongoing conflict in the area, according to a Ministry of Mines official.

Fighting between the government and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) intensified in areas near Hpakant last week, causing thousands of civilians to flee and seek shelter in nearby churches.

“So far, we don’t plan to stop jade mining operations due to recent fights,” Assistant Director of the Ministry of Mines Min Thu told The Irrawaddy on Friday. The official added that operators have been advised to extend their licenses no later than Feb. 11.

“There will be new plots for new mining companies to work there, and we encourage recently licensed companies to extend their permits soon,” he added. The ministry grants three-year concessions for a fee of 300,000 kyats (US$300).

Jade mining in the area was suspended in 2012 following the breakdown of a 17-year ceasefire between the government and the KIA, an ethnic armed group fighting for greater autonomy in the resource-rich state.

For the complete article, please see The Irrawaddy.