Visited Mohnyin. A bustling town in Kachin State.
6 hours' drive to Hpakant which was famous for landslides killing several hundred itinerant miners. Met a restaurant owner who had worked in Hpakant for 14 years as a supervisor and met his wife there. His 2 sons and daughters are with him, now running this shop near Myitkyina University.
For young men who needed money, they just go to Hpakant to be a miner. Earned some money and come back to Mohnyin. When money runs out, go mining again. Diseases like malaria and typhus still exist. Malaria causes fever, muscle aches and shivering chills - wrapped with blankets but drugs will cure this.
The Myanmar Gems Enterprise under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation had issued a moratorium on new licences in July pending a review of mining laws after Hpakant landslides and calls for reforms.
321 jade mining jade and gems block permits will expired in September and not renewed until by-laws to the Myanmar Gemstones Law have been passed. Licences are required for mining. Unlicensed operators will be arrested and in any case, do not have the heavy equipment to do the mining. Hpakant is jade rich but I cannot visit it as it has malaria. Other licences are in Mohnyin township, Sagain Region's Hkamti township, Mogok and Shan State's Mine Shu.
As a tourist, I travel on the main roads and villages and have not seen a glimpse of the mines which are deep in the jungles.