Vietnam province to seal 70 illegal gold mines

By Dac Thanh   June 10, 2021 | 01:11 am PT
Vietnam province to seal 70 illegal gold mines
An illegal gold mining site inside the Song Thanh National Park in Quang Nam Province, June 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh.
The central province of Quang Nam will detonate six tons of explosives to shut 70 illegal gold mines inside a national park.

The gold mines were detected in Song Thanh National Park of Dac Pring Commune, Nam Giang District, said Ho Quang Buu, Quang Nam's deputy chairman.

It is expected a functional force would use from 70 to 100 kilograms of explosives to blow up each mine from June 19 to 26.

Explosives will be detonated by remote control to ensure the safety of the task force, which will be joined by almost 500 officers and soldiers, to stay in camps set up inside the park for the operation.

"Before each explosion, the task force will check the entire area and seal all tunnel leading into the mines," said Dinh Van Hong, director of the national park.

Established in December 2020, Song Thanh National Park stretches across 12 communes of Phuoc Son and Nam Giang districts.

It comprises 58,220 hectares of strictly protected forest and more than 18,360 hectares that belong to the ecological restoration subdivision tasked with protecting landscape and forest resources.

Experts said it is home to more than 830 species of vascular plants and rare and endangered species of fauna and flora native to the country.

The park is home to a diverse system of fauna, including 53 species of mammals, 183 species of birds, 44 species of reptiles, 21 species of amphibians, 25 species of fish and many species of invertebrates.

But illegal gold mining has gone on for years inside the park, causing loss of resources, environmental pollution, and affecting security and order in the park.

Authorities have repeatedly chased miners from the park but to no avail.

Various studies around the world have shown mining causes erosion, sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, contamination of the soil, groundwater and surface water, and a release of large amounts of toxic contaminants.

Many people in Vietnam have lost their lives in illegal gold mines in the past two decades, though authorities have failed to put an end to it.

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