Lack of regulation has led to dangers for mining workers in Myanmar, as landslides in recent monsoon seasons have killed many workers

A miner searches for jade stones at Hpakant jade mine in Kachin state, Myanmar.
A miner searches for jade stones at Hpakant jade mine in Kachin state, Myanmar. (Reuters Archive)

Myanmar is home to the world's largest supply of jade. The industry's worth $36 billion per year and is largely state-controlled. But a lack of regulation has led to workers being endangered. Mining is done haphazardly and 24 hours a day. Mining waste is piled high, and rains can make these heaps unstable. 

Many miners like Jaw San Aung say landslides are becoming more common and dangerous. He recently had a narrow escape himself.

"All the people running in front of me were struck down by the muddy wave. Our group and people behind us were suddenly swept up in the muddy water.  I was caught up in it for about 30 minutes," Jaw San Aung says.

According to conservative estimates by local human rights groups,  500 people have been killed in landslides at Myanmar's jade mines over the past five years.

TRT World's Libby Hogan reports from northern Myanmar.