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January 19, 2020, 6:29 am

Illegal mining increases in Quang Nam after gold factories close

(10:49:18 AM 05/08/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - After Bersa Vietnam suspended operations on July 23 at the Phuoc Son and Bong Mieu mine sites in the central province of Quang Nam, illegal gold mining has increased at the sites.

According to the Canada-based company’s announcement, mandatory measures of  account blockage and invoice neutralization applied by the department since April this year forced it to suspend operations at Bong Mieu and Phuoc Son gold mines on July 18 and 22, respectively. The gold producer operating in Southeast Asia has temporarily postponed labor contracts to 1,000 employees and workers.

The deputy head of the Quang Nam Tax Department, Luong Dinh Duong, said that the mandatory measures imposed on Besra’s subsidiaries is under the tax law. The company’s delay of tax payment forced the department to block their bank accounts in accordance with the tax law.
 
Phuoc Son and Bong Mieu companies have exploited tons of gold to export for the last several years, but paid taxes moderately. Phuoc Son’s tax debts have reached nearly VND300 billion (US$14.15 million) including personal and business income taxes, natural resource tax and environment protection fee. It has owed VND100 billion since the last year-end. Bong Mieu’s debts have totaled VND51 billion. According to Vietnam’s law, over 90-day due debts must face distraining.
 
A few days after Bersa Vietnam issued the announcement, illegal gold mining activities began at the two mine sites. Many former workers of the two gold factories have become illegal miners.
 
On Sim Hill in Tam Lanh commune, Phu Ninh district, dozens of tents of illegal gold miners have been set up. This is the area managed by the Bong Mieu Gold Company.
 
Bong Mieu Gold Company said there are too many roads leading to the mine so its guards are unable to control all. After stopping operation, the company has hired an additional 36 guards, bringing the total number to 46, but they cannot prevent illegal mining activities.
 
Miners said each day they earn about VND200,000 ($10). They said they know that it is illegal and dangerous, but they do not have anything else to do.
 
Seeing guards or policemen, illegal gold miners flee into the jungle.
 
They use old vehicles to go to the gold mines. They are ready to throw the vehicles to run from guards and the police.
 
Many footpaths which were previously used by local farmers have been expanded, so illegal gold miners can run up to the pit by motorcycles.
 
Mr. Bui Quang Minh, chairman of Tam Lanh commune, said about 500 local workers became unemployed after the close-down of Bong Mieu Gold Company.
 
Minh said the local authorities have organized raids at the gold mine sites but illegal gold mining is still rampant.
 
Mr. Minh said a few days ago some people even dug up the waste dump of the gold company, which is extremely hazardous. The commune has proposed to flood this site to prevent illegal mining.
 
The General Department of Taxation and the People's Committee of Quang Nam Province have asked the local Taxation Bureau to cancel the suspension order. This move brings hope that the two plants could soon reopen.
 
Illegal gold mining in Quang Nam:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Le Ha
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