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June 30, 2022, 5:46 pm

Sludge valley in Tuyen Quang province

(09:11:08 AM 14/07/2015)
( - Many households in Thuong Am commune of Son Duong district in the northern province of Tuyen Quang have been living with mud for years because of barite ore mining in the locality.

 Sludge valley in Tuyen Quang province


Reporters immediately left for the barite ore mining site in Hom Cave in the province after receiving a call from the hotline about unauthorised ore exploitation.

After wading through the a kilometer road which was full of  vehicles and trucks, they reached Dong Ben 2 hamlet. They saw an area with hills torn apart and deep holes. A large land area looked like a vast mud reservoir.

As soon as reporters turned up, the mining site suddenly turned quiet. Some workers left their working positions and returned to their cottages.

According to Khong Thi Hue, a woman from Dong Ben Hamlet, the mine has been exploited by Hoa An Company for a few years. The company leased cultivation land from local farmers and promised to return the land after two years.

However, the company paid a leasing fee for only one year and it has not given back the land, though it has been exploiting there for four years. It cites big losses as the reason.

In Dong Ben Hamlet, about 20 households have lost cultivation land. They have lodged a petition to the local authorities, but the problem still has not been settled.

Meanwhile, their cultivation land was excavated and had deep hole.

About 5-7 excavators are working every day in Dong Ben area to look for ore. Local people said the exploitation method has seriously damaged the environment.

The large field has become a vast reservoir of mud on an area of thousands of square meters. The mud spills into rice fields and ponds after rains.

Trieu Van Loc in Dong Ben 2 Hamlet complained that his 360 square meters of field have been left idle because it has been filled with mud. 

Many fish ponds in the locality have also turned red because of mud; people cannot farm fish, or use water from the ponds.

According to Tran Xuan Truong, chair of Thuong Am commune People’s Committee, Hoa An Company was allowed to exploit barite ore until April 11, 2015, while the Tuyen Quang Cement JSC was allowed to exploit ore until April 18, 2015.

However, the enterprises still continue the exploitation.

Meanwhile, a senior executive of Hoa An, when meeting reporters, said Hoa An does not think it has to offer compensation, rehabilitate the environment or give cultivation land to the people.


Thien Nhien

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