Viet Nam News
KON TUM – Illegal gold mining has become rampant in Đắk Glei District’s Đắk Long Commune over recent years, causing serious environmental pollution and damage to local residents’ life, online newspaper zing reported.
A resident of Đắk Long Commune in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum told a zing reporter that illegal gold miners have publicly operated for many years in various places in Đắk Ôn hamlet.
“Because the main gold reserve of the commune exists here. Local authorities have come and seized miners’ machinery many times, but then the activity recurs,” the resident said.
This person also said hazardous chemicals used in gold mining had polluted the environment. Water in Đắk Plok stream, which local residents use for watering crops and daily life’s activities, was so polluted that it can no longer be used. Trees were also chopped down, resulting in floods and landslides in the rainy season which caused huge losses to local residents, this person said.
According to the reporter’s observations, gold is exploited manually with three groups of miners working round the clock.
A Hiêng, chairman of Đắk Long Commune People’s Committee said the local authority often co-operated with border soldiers to crack down on illegal miners, however their force was too small to maintain regular inspections.
“People often do the mining on weekends while our force is too small to prevent it. The miners may have someone behind them, because whenever we seized their machines, they would have new machines right afterwards,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nguyễn Văn Diệu, a spokesperson for Đắk Glei District People’s Committee told the reporter that an inter-section team of the district had recently carried out an inspection at Đắk Bloc Lake in Đắk Ôn hamlet and seized four batches of machines.
He said people kept doing the job despite knowing it was illegal due to very high profits available from gold mining.
“The district’s People’s Committee has asked Đắk Long Commune authority to carry out an inspection once every two days and impose punishments for any violations found,” he said. – VNS