Myanmar Miners Dig Up Huge Jade Stone Worth $170 million

October 19, 2016

jade2[Image Courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency]

Miners uncovered a massive jade stone weighing 175 tons in Myanmar. The stone is 14 ft (4.3 m) high and 19 ft (5.8 m) long.

The estimated price of such as stone comes in at a whopping $170 million.

Miners discovered it in the jade-producing state of Kachin in northern Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Reports say the stone is headed for China to be used in jewelry and statues. Around 70 percent of the world’s high-end jadeite comes from Myanmar. That stone makes up over half of the country’s gross domestic product.

jadestein[Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

The jade industry in Myanmar has drawn controversy in recent years. The industry raked in a staggering $31 billion in 2014. Much of the market is still controlled by military forces.

Last year, rebels from the Kachin Independence army didn’t’ sign a peace agreement with the government and continued to clash with the Burmese army.

In an interview with BBC, Global Witness’s Mike Davis said jade plays a key role “of financing for both sides.”

“There is an incentive there for the hardliners on the government side to keep the conflict going until such time as they can be confident that when the dust settles, their assets will still be there,” he said.

No word as to who ‘owns’ this particular jade, nor how much money will find its way back to the people of Myanmar.

Via BBC, IFL Science