|The Military Command of central Quang Ngai Province using explosives to demolish illegal gold mines in Ca Nhut Mountain. — Photo vnexpress.net
QUANG NGAI (VNS) — The Military Command in central Quang Ngai Province has announced that it demolished 60 illegal gold mines in Tay Tra District, after local authorities approved the move.
Lieutenant Colonel Dang Ngoc Thach of the Command said sappers used more than a tonne of explosives to demolish these illegal gold mines in Tra Thanh and Tra Quan communes within a period of ten days.
This was the first time the provincial authority allowed the use of explosives to destroy gold mines. A total of more than 150 sappers and police personnel were mobilised to carry out the task.
A variety of equipment used for illegal mining activities was seized.
Phan Mua, head of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment's Minerals, Water Resource and Hydrometeorology division said Tay Tra District had been a hot spot of illegal gold mining for years, especially in the Ca Nhut Mountains, causing serious damage to the environment and affecting local people's lives.
The district authorities, in co-operation with local police, had conducted raids against these illegal mines, but miners continued to exploit gold as soon as the forces used to withdraw.
Moreover, the illegal gold mines were located deep in the forests in the border area falling between Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces. Thus, the authorities faced difficulties in tracking down gold miners.
Captain Kieu Hong Phuoc told the Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper that illegal gold miners had begun to use equipment and chemicals to look for gold. He said he was concerned that toxic substances such as mercury and cyanide would pollute the water source of local people.
On July 19, Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Le Viet Chu approved the use of explosives to demolish illegal gold mines.
According to the police, the most important task was to prevent gold miners from returning to the Ca Nhut Mountains to resume their illegal activities.
The committee has sent an urgent message beseeching local authorities of the Tay Tra District, the local police and authorised forces to work with the military command to control the forest path to search for illegal gold miners.
It would encourage local people to locate and report gold miners to the authority.
Local authorities would be in charge of ensuring that illegal gold mining is brought to an end and would take responsibility if such activities continued to happen, it said. — VNS