‘Jade’ Boulder ‘Just a Rock’: Minister
27 February 2014
A 37-ton boulder reported last week to be a massive piece of jade is “just an ordinary rock,” according to Aung Naing, Kachin State’s minister of mines. “We tried to move the rock and it cracked. Even before that we had presumed, based on an initial study by experts, that it was not jade,” the minister said in an interview with DVB. Soon after the stone was discovered in Hpakant, Kachin State, on Feb. 9, government troops cordoned off the area and Aung Naing Win, the prospector who found the stone, was taken into custody “for his own safety.” Mining has been banned in the area since 2012 due to an ongoing conflict with Kachin rebels, but illegal small-scale operations continue.