LAI CHAU (VNS)— The People's Committee of northern mountain Lai Chau Province has instructed district-level authorities to clamp down on illegal mining.
The move was made in response to the resumption of unauthorised exploitation of natural minerals in the province.
In September last year, a provincial interdisciplinary mission inspected and cleared illegal mining activities, particularly in hot spots such as Noong Heo commune, Sin Ho border district and along the Da River running through Muong Te border district.
However, illegal mining has resumed in many areas.
|Dong Pao rare earth mine in Lai Chau.—Photo Nhandan.com.vn
The inspections conducted in late January by the local Department of Natural Resources and Environment found that many local people were gold-mining in areas that had previously been closed by local authorities in Sin Ho district.
Director of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment Vu Van Luong said there was a high risk for of illegal mining in the province and admitted that small-scale illegal exploitation had been reported in some areas.
"An interdisciplinary inspection team, including the police and local department, will commence their work from March 10," he said.
"Any illegal activities will be shut down," he said.
In 2012, local authorities uncovered 11 illegal mines looking to exploit gold ore, rare earths and minerals. They also destroyed mining equipment and makeshift accommodation, and seized nearly 1,000 kilos of explosives. — VNS