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Makeshift huts built in a jade mine collapsed in a landslide in Burma. Let's take a closer look at how poor security conditions contributed to this tragedy which resulted in one several deaths.

Nearly 100 people were killed in Burma in this landslide.

"Thousands of poor Burmese workers are flocking to this region on the edge of China, living in makeshift camps, to try to find pieces of jade neglected by excavators and left in mountains of landfill on the margins of the mines. ".

Source: La Presse

The next activities will allow us to turn our gaze to this country where dozens of inhabitants died in landslides trying to find jade left by the excavators of large mining companies.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:

- Locate Burma on a world map;
- Name the types of precious stones present in the mines of Burma;
- Understand the issues related to the extraction of precious stones in Burma;
- Complete the technical sheet of a precious stone.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Landslide in a jade mine

Start this activity by presenting this report video reporting a landslide that caused the death of a hundred illegal miners.

Continue by presenting this short excerpt video in order to point out to the students the physical and environmental conditions in which the rescuers provided assistance.

On a world map, identify the country of Burma and the region ofHpakant where this jade mine is located. Use a site like Google maps in order to identify the country's borders, neighboring countries as well as the nature of the relief observed via satellite images.

Question the students to check their understanding of the situation.

Here are some questions:

- Why do we talk about looting in the jade mines?
- Who benefits from the economic spinoffs related to jade extraction?
- How are the working conditions of the mine workers in Burma?
- What are the impacts of jade mines on the population of Burma?
- Why is the jade trade in the greatest secrecy?
- Which country is the main consumer of jade?
- What is the other name used to refer to jade?
- What are the warnings of the NGO Global Witness?
- Etc.


Use a collaborative virtual wall to record student responses during exchanges and discussions to answer questions. Sites like Padlet, Lino, or even Google tools, can very well serve this collaborative function.

ACTIVITY 2: The jade market

Begin this activity by presenting this cuff outlining the issues related to the extraction and market of jade. Since jade is considered to be the "stone of paradise", it is a symbol of virtue and is sold very expensive.

Continue the activity by presenting this gallery photos on the living conditions of mining in Burma. Read the text too, you will learn in particular that “the jade mines are the exclusive property of the military junta. The United States and the European Union have since 2007 adopted an embargo on imports of precious stones, wood, metals and minerals from Burma ”.

Suggest that the students produce the technical sheet for the jadeite or another gemstone, such as nephritis, or one of their choice.

Distribute to them this working outline so that they can record the information related to the stone chosen for this activity.

ACTIVITY 3: The different symbols of jade

Begin this activity by presenting this text informative explaining the symbols and virtues attributed to jade in Chinese culture.

Distribute the following questionnaire so that the students can answer the various questions related to the text on the cultivation of jade.

More about the magazine

Burma: More than 90 dead in a landslide in a jade mine
20 Minutes, November 22, 2015

Burma: at least 30 dead in a landslide
Canoe, November 21, 2015

Landslide in Myanmar: nearly 100 dead in jade mine
L'Express, November 22, 2015

At least 90 dead in jade mine incident
Journal de Montréal, November 22, 2015

The fight against the looting of jade in Guatemala
Epoch Times, June 25, 2013

Jade, a more than precious stone
China Now, January 27, 2014

Jade, a more than precious stone
Chinese Garden, February 2, 2015