Extractive industries

How a Beloved Gemstone Became a Symbol of Environmental Tragedy in Myanmar

The jade gemstones that generate billions of dollars a year in Myanmar — the world’s biggest exporter of the stone — are beloved in China, where they can sell for more than gold. But they are a symbol of tragedy and suffering for the people who ...

EMILY FISHBEIN AND AUNG MYAT LAMUNG; Additional reporting by Jaw Tu Hkawng.

Ministry to probe suspected illegal mining in Mon forest

Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Ministry will investigate reports of illegal gold mining in a forest near Watwun mountain in Kyaikto township, Mon State, a senior official said. U Ye Myint Swe, the ministry’s deputy minister, said an area in the forest has been leased for ...

Yee Ywal Myint

Covid-induced energy plunge shrinks coal development in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s response to the Covid‑19 outbreak has curtailed electricity use and industrial production, pushing down coal consumption even further this year, according to the latest report from a non-governmental organisation which monitors worldwide fossil fuel infrastructure. Even before Covid-19, new coal plant construction was already slowing in the ...

Hannah Alcoseba Fernandez

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

Contact us

Contact us

Do you have questions on the content published by Open Development Mekong? We will gladly help you.

Have you found a technical problem or issue on the Open Development Mekong website?

Tell us how we're doing.

Do you have resources that could help expand the Open Development Mekong website? We will review any map data, laws, articles, and documents that we do not yet have and see if we can implement them into our site. Please make sure the resources are in the public domain or fall under a Creative Commons license.

File was deleted
ERROR!

Disclaimer: Open Development Mekong will thoroughly review all submitted resources for integrity and relevancy before the resources are hosted. All hosted resources will be in the public domain, or licensed under Creative Commons. We thank you for your support.

pLrFS
* The idea box couldn't be blank! Something's gone wrong, Please Resubmit the form! Please add the code correctly​ first.

Thank you for taking the time to get in contact!