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Tibet Bans Environment Damaging Mining

Tibet plans to ban the mining of mercury, arsenic, peat and gold dust in the region to protect its ecological environment.

This has been designed as part of a revised Mineral Resources Development Plan by southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

Wang Baosheng, director of Tibet's Land and Resources Bureau, earlier told the press that although Tibet is rich in arsenic and gold dust, they must be prohibited from mining for the sake of environmental protection.

According to experts, mining of mercury and arsenic could pollute rivers and underground waters, while peat mining can damage wet lands and gold dust exploration could seriously degrade grassland and rivers.

Wang Baosheng added that Tibet will impose a region-wide environment rehabilitation security system by the end of the year. According to the system, all mining enterprises will be held totally responsible for the rehabilitation of the geo-environments in which they mine. Those who fail to do so will be fined by security money charge.

Statistics show that Tibet boasts some one hundred kinds of mineral resources, among which 17 kinds have positions among the first nine of China's mineral reserves.

( July 24, 2007)

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