|Illegal gold mining activities in Kon Tum Province's Kon Plong District have been halted with all illegal gold miners being expelled, an official said on Saturday. — Photo thiennhien
KON TUM (VNS) — Illegal gold mining activities in Kon Tum Province's Kon Plong District have been halted with all illegal gold miners being expelled, an official said on Saturday.
Dang Thanh Nam, Deputy Chairman of the district's People's Committee, also informed the press that a team headed by the Hieu Commune Deputy Chairman has been set up to prevent future gold mining in the area.
The team will also raise public awareness among residents about the inadvisability of selling agricultural land to illegal miners, Nam said.
The actions follow reports in the media last month about illegal gold mining activities happening for a long time right under the authorities' noses in the two towns of Kon Plinh and Kon Pieng in Hieu Commune.
The reports highlighted the failure of authorities in curbing the illegal gold mining that was severely damaging the local environment.
According to the Kon Plong District administration, illegal mining has created large holes in a 12.4ha area. The biggest holes have diameters of around 70sq.m and are three to five metres deep.
Dam Van Ngan, one of the illegal gold miners in the area, has admitted that he hired three diggers in June and brought them to the commune.
He hired machines from different sources and paid around VND125 million (US$6,000) per month to rent them.
Media reports have said the mining activities had caused soil erosion and also rendered areas "beyond recovery."
The illegal miners had also tricked local residents into selling their farming land to them for a meagre sums of VND5-10 million (US$240-480). — VNS