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People in Kan Ho Commune, Lai Chau Province, have denounced a local firm for continuing their illegal gold mining activities despite causing a recent fatal accident.
Under the decision signed by People’s Committee Vice Chairman Nguyen Chuong on April 26, Long Khanh Minerals JS Company was granted permission to dig for gold near Road 127 but only within Road 127’s boundaries of Lai Chau Hydropower Plant in Kan Ho Commune, Muong Te District.
According to people in Kan Ho Commune, the company has broken regulations, expanding its mining work beyond its agreed boundaries. Ly Truy Cho, a local resident said, “The Long Khanh Company has used machines and equipment to dig gold, disturbing farming work and damaging the road surface. Meanwhile, the company has not yet paid compensation for their action.”
The local people also said the company’s use of machines for gold mining has caused a fatality and many injuries in late May this year. Therefore, the People’s Committee of Muong Te District suspended the company’s work for a week. This information was also confirmed by Ly Cha Loi, Vice Chairman of Kan Ho Commune People’s Committee in an interview with Dantri/DTiNews reporters.
Nevertheless, speaking with Dantri/DTiNews, Chuong said he was very surprised at the information that the company had been suspended for the gold mining work for a week by Muong Te District People’s Committee. He did not know anything about this.
The reporters visited the gold mining site with Kan Ho Commune officials and saw dozens of workers setting up tents next to Road 127. They had prepared machines for digging the road. They had also built a tunnel.
The tunnel is about two metres high and a metre wide, and it runs for around 50 metres.
Most of workers refused to answer the reporters’ questions, saying that they were newcomers and did not know anything. The company’s representative also refused to meet the reporters.
Speaking with the reporters, Mr. Chuong said authorities will investigate local people’s accusations against Long Khanh Minerals JS Company. He requested Department of Natural Resources and Environment Director Vu Van Luong to report on the company’s violations. Luong said that the department had inspected the company’s work three times, but at that time, the firm had just started using their equipment. He claimed that he was surprised that they had worked so fast.