Gold mining devastates Quang Nam’s soil

VietNamNet Bridge – In Nam Giang District in the central province of Quang Nam, many gold mining sites are located only several hundreds of meters or kilometers away from the local authorities’ headquarters, forest-ranger stations and border posts.  

Gold mining, Quang Nam, miners

“There is no more gold in Nam Giang, so no need to program the gold mining,” said A Lang Cuong, head of the Nam Giang District’s Natural Resources and Environment Sub-department, when describing the illegal gold mining situation in the district.

While Cuong was answering reporters’ questions at the sub-department’s office, several high-capacity excavators, reportedly belonging to a man named Luong The Vinh, were working behind the office and making noise.

Cuong told the reporters that he will issue an order to stop the excavators and the gold mining on the Cai River section in Pa Lanh hamlet behind the office.

However, on July 30, or 10 days after Cuong ordered to stop the mining, reporters could not see any signs showing that the mining had been interrupted.

When reporters contacted Luong The Vinh, a “big guy from the north” as local people called him, they were told that the excavators were still continuing their work on the Cai River section.

Vinh went on to say that the work on the site was being managed by two men, Giang and Tuan, from Ha Nam and Lang Son provinces in the north.

He complained that there is not much gold on the river section, but he still has to continue the exploitation there after accidentally making heavy investments in the project.

A local resident said that before Vinh brought his big excavators to the site, the area was excavated by many other “tycoons”. A lot of deep holes still exist.

Many gold mining sites exist only hundreds of meters or several kilometers from the offices of competent agencies, which have the function of stopping illegal mining.

The bustling gold mining activities can also be seen in Dakpring Commune in the Thanh River Natural Sanctuary.

In late June 2014, when local newspapers repeatedly published the reportages about the illegal mining in the locality, many “tycoons” had to stop their operation. However, it is obvious that the tycoons do not intend to “give up their job”.

The tycoons and gold diggers have left Khe Nhien and Khe Len sites and there are now only empty tents. However, a local resident said if going 15-16 kilometers further, one would see a gold mining site called Petapok.

The gold mining activities are still carried out in the open air, seriously damaging the environment in Nam Giang District. The magnates leading the groups of gold miners in Khe Nhien, Khe Len sites and Pa Lanh Hamlet did not make any secret of their exploitation activities.

A local resident said the magnates can mine gold illegally because they pay “protection money” to the local authorities.

A Lang Cuong denied the “protection money” when meeting reporters, but he could not give reasonable explanations about the existence of the two big excavators, which were damaging the Cai River, just hundreds of meters far away from Cuong’s office.

Dai Doan Ket

Gold mining, Quang Nam, miners