Myanmar will grant 215 more new gem mining blocks for local investors in 2007 to promote gems and jade production, said a report of Sunday's Myanmar Times.
Of the new mining blocks allotted, 77 are in Shan state and 39 in Mandalay division for gem mining, while 99 near Lonekin in Kachin state are for jade mining, the state-operated Myanmar Gems Enterprise was quoted as saying.
Each block measures one acre (0.405 hectare) and the blocks are to be leased on a three-year term, the report said.
Value-added market in Myanmar has made good progress over the past three years with the country exporting one ton of value-added jade products to Germany in October, it said, adding that Myanmar is planning to export more amount of value-added jade products to Spain in December.
In December last year, Myanmar introduced some 370 new mining blocks for jade exploration in Phakant and Lonkin in northernmost Kachin state and biddings for the blocks were also invited from the private companies.
There are six mining areas in Myanmar under gem exploration, namely Mogok, Mongshu, Lonkin/Phakant, Khamhti, Moenyin and Namyar.
To earn foreign exchange, Myanmar started to hold gem shows in 1964, sponsoring annual and mid-year ones, adding special jade and gem sale since 2004. Since then the country has earned a total of over 600 million dollars from all such events, attended by foreign gem traders mostly coming from China, China's Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan.
Myanmar, a well-known producer of jades and gems in the world, possesses such gems as ruby, diamond, cat's eye, emerald, topaz, pearl, sapphire, coral and a variety of garnet tinged with yellow.
To develop gem mining industry, Myanmar enacted the New Gemstone Law in 1995, allowing national entrepreneurs to mine, produce, transport and sell finished gemstone and manufactured jewelry at home and abroad.
Since 2000, the government has started mining of gems and jade in joint venture with 10 private companies under profit sharing basis.