Myanmar Jade Mines Under Scrutiny After Landslides

Stones from the country are already banned in the United States

More than 100 jade miners died in landslides in Myanmar (formerly Burma) in November and December 2015, bringing attention to the country’s jade mining industry.

“Myanmar’s jade mines are among the bleakest places in all of Asia,” reports the GlobalPost. “In these zones, death is so common and lawlessness so obscene that the government forbids almost all outsiders from coming to take a look.”

According to GlobalPost, the mining industry in Myanmar lacks oversight. It is controlled by army-backed firms and independent miners, such as those killed in the landslides, who live in slums and search debris in hopes of finding a stone that would change their lives.

In the United States, many imports from Myanmar are already banned. The Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008 bans imports of jadeite and ruby from Myanmar. It is still in effect.