Extractive industries

The covert industry that is destroying the world’s rivers

Good sand is surprisingly hard to find, and some of the best — the kind used to make glass, concrete and even iPhones — is usually found only in riverbeds and along coasts. Now researchers are discovering that a global boom in sand mining is ...

A Deadly Gamble: Myanmar’s Jade Industry

The tragedy was all too familiar in Myanmar’s infamous northern jade mining town of Hpakant: In the early hours of the morning, hundreds of jade pickers teetered on the edge of unstable mountains to scavenge the loose debris dumped by trucks. They are convinced finding ...

Nicholas Muller

Corruption, Weak Rule of Law Cited as Myanmar Probes Latest Jade Disaster

A team appointed by the Myanmar government to probe a massive landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar has begun its investigation into the deadly accident that killed at least 172 people, a Kachin state official said Tuesday. Heavy rains caused piles of loose dirt ...

Reported by Aung Theinkha and Zarni Tun for RFA’s Myanmar Service and by Jia Ao for RFA’s Mandarin Service. Translated by Nandar Chann. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

Dreams Of Myanmar's Jade Miners Buried By Disaster

Five Yay Ma Hsay – or ‘unwashed’ as the jade miners of northern Myanmar are known – arrived early Thursday at the pit to scrape out a living on a scraggy hillside, lured by the prospect of finding a stone that could transform their lives.  But ...

AFP

Hunting for particles of gold in the jungles of Southeast Asia

Walking across the world, you encounter human beings engaged in various repetitive behaviors. Raising babies. Fixing machines. Boiling tea. Planting crops. Posting videos on TikTok. Looking for gold. Our species’ pervasive quest for gold is ancient and tireless. Along my 11,000-mile trail out of Africa, I have ...

PAUL SALOPEK

Chifeng Jilong to Restart Gold Production at Sepon Mine in Laos

China’s Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Co has said it will begin processing gold ore from its mine in Sepon, Laos, after a six-year hiatus. According to a report by Reuters, the restart of gold production at the mine is due to gold prices hitting a seven-year ...

Latsamy Phonevilay

Roving bandits and looted coastlines: How the global appetite for sand is fuelling a crisis

Next to water, sand is our most consumed natural resource. The global demand for sand and gravel stands between 40 billion and 50 billion tonnes annually, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and its scarcity is an emerging global crisis. The world may run out of sand if we ...

Melissa Marschke, Jean-François Rousseau, Laura Schoenberger and Michael Hoffmann

Cambodia considers licensing mining at four coal sites

The Cambodian Ministry of Mines and Energy is set to review applications soon for rights to four coal mining concession areas it opened late in March in the northern region of the country, the Phnom Penh Post reported. The ministry said in a press release that interested national ...

Ministry to give mining rights for four coal sites

The Ministry of Mines and Energy is set to review applications soon for rights to four coal mining concession areas – totalling 794sq km – it opened late in March in the Kingdom’s north. “Interested national and international companies can apply for a mining licence at ...

Thou Vireak

The great salt drought desiccating Vietnam's Mekong Delta

“Well I can tell you, all my fish are dead now.” Nguyen Thi Bach Vien sounds more resigned than anything else. She is calling from her home in Ben Tre province, a few hours drive south of Ho Chi Minh City in the belly of Vietnam’s ...

Zoe Osborne

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