BAC KAN (VNS)– Illegal gold mining in the northern mountainous province of Bac Kan's Ngan Son District is spiralling out of control as local authorities are failing to curb the problem by applying strict measures, the Viet Nam News Agency report.
The situation has been recorded in Khin Heo, Pac Nan and Khuoi Ngoa communes where groups of diggers work not only at night but also in daytime. They exploit gold and refine it there on the spot.
Some groups even dig caves in land-slide prone areas, endangering the lives of the diggers themselves, particularly as there is no pillar to support the caves.
A gold miner from Thai Nguyen Province said they had mined for a long time. Some investigators had come over to fine them recently and then went away, he said.
According to local policeman Ly Tho Phung, the problem was reported to the higher levels for inspection but the authorities did not apply harsh punishments because the diggers work on a small scale.
He also shared the view that the repetition of checking, warning and fining did not help solve the problem.
As soon as the inspectors went away, the illegal miners continued their work, he added.
The illegal gold mining has affected local people's lives due to the noise generated from power generators all day and night. Meanwhile, farming land is encroached on and streams polluted.
Last month the district authorities reported to the department of natural resources and environment that they had removed three groups and fined ten others, however our correspondent report that illegal mining remains a problem. – VNS