MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Mercury, arsenic, peat and placer gold mining to be officially banned in Tibet

Published by MAC on 2007-06-15

Mercury, arsenic, peat and placer gold mining to be officially banned in Tibet

The Tibetan Autonomous Region Land Resource Administration Bureau is planning to officially ban mercury, arsenic, peat and placer gold mining in the near future, a government official told Interfax on June 14.

"Prospecting and mining of mercury, arsenic, peat and placer gold was prohibited by the bureau in early 2006, due to environmental concerns, but this time we intend to strengthen the prohibition by including it in the latest Tibetan Mineral Resource General Planning regulation, currently still under compilation," Mineral Resources Administration department chief, surnamed Zhao, told Interfax.

The Tibetan Mineral Resource General Planning regulation is a guideline for the prospecting, mining, utilization and protection of mineral resources in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, which is updated every five years.

Mineral resource mining has caused many environmental problems in Tibet, such as water pollution from mercury and arsenic mining, wetland damage from peat mining, and grassland and river damage from placer gold mining. Tibet contains abundant arsenic and placer gold reserves. However, Zhao declined to further comment on the scale of the reserves.

[Interfax China Metals, 15 June 2009]

 

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