Fatal landslides and other deadly accidents are common in the poorly regulated mines of Hpakant where the victims are often workers from impoverished communities looking for scraps left behind by big firms.
About 100 people were killed in a 2015 collapse which strengthened calls to regulate the industry. Another 50 died in 2019.
The government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi pledged to clean up the industry when it took power in 2016, but activists say little has changed.
International NGO Global Witness estimated that the industry was worth some US$ 31 billion in 2014, although very little reached state coffers.