ကခ်င္းျပည္နယ္၊ ဖကန္.ရွိ ေက်ာက္စိမ္းတြင္းေတြကုိဦေတဇခ်ဳိပ္ကုိင္လုိက္ျပီ
November 20, 2007 KNG
Te Za, President and Managing Director of Htoo Trading Company has grabbed control of almost all Phakant jade mining areas in Kachin State in Northern Burma, according to jade miners.
Since early this year, several jade mining companies could not procure jade mining blocks directly from Burma’s Ministry of Mines and they had to buy the blocks from Te Za’s Htoo Trading Company, a local jade dealer told KNG today. Te Za has the blessings of junta supremo Sr-Gen Than.
Each jade mining block is one acre (4,000 square meters) but the jade mining companies had to buy it from Te Za’s Htoo Trading Company, shelling out premium prices of between Kyat 80 million (US $ 60,377) and Kyat 3,000 million (US $ 226,415) per block. The blocks are leased out on a three-year basis, jade dealers said.
In previous years, the Ministry of Mines had sold all jade mining blocks through tender and competitive bidding systems to mining companies but the system was changed since early this year, the dealers added.
Under the system of Burmese ruling junta’s profit sharing basis, Te Za who is close to junta supremo Sr-Gen Than Shwe, occupied Phakant (Hpakan) jade mining areas by cooperating with major jade mining companies in Phakant including Myanmar Dagaung Co. Ltd and Morning Light instead of using his company name– Htoo Trading Company, said Kachin jade leaders.
Now, heavy machines such as bulldozers, digging machines and trucks are seen everywhere in Phakant and Lonkin jade mining areas, eyewitnesses said.
Currently, the junta’s 16th Mid-Year Gems Emporium is underway in Rangoon, former capital of Burma. It has showcased 5,140 jade lots with other gems on the basis of tender and competitive bidding for 13 days until November 26, according to the junta-run newspaper “New Light of Myanmar”.
In the 44th annual Myanmar gems emporium held in March this year and attended by 3,421
merchants, including over 2,000 foreigners, 3,652 lots of jade, gems and pearls were sold out raking in 185 million U.S. dollars, according to earlier official statistics.
Again in July this year, a special gem, jade and pearl sale, which attracted even more merchants, about 4,000 including 2,437 foreigners, sold more, touching 4,665 lots but the proceeds were not disclosed.
There are six gem and jade mining areas in Burma, three of them are Lonkin/Phakant (Lawng Hkang/Hpakan, Monyin and Namyar (Nam Ya) in Kachin State.
Te Za owns Air Bagan and also controls other major business sectors in partnership with the ruling junta’s generals. He has invaded the Phakant jade mining areas since last year.