Chinese government cracks down on illegal gold mining

Following a number of recent deaths, authorities are inspecting abandoned gold mines for illegal activities, including production and transportation, and the sale of explosives.


April 11, 2022

BEIJING – Authorities recently launched a one-year operation targeting illegal gold mining to protect lives, national interests and the environment.

Seven central departments, including the ministries of National Resources and Ecology and Environment, Public Security and Emergency Management, issued a notice about the start of the operation in late March.

In 2021, there were a number of cases of illegal gold mining that resulted in deaths and environmental pollution, the notice said.

Authorities involved in the operation are inspecting abandoned gold mines, and investigating and punishing the illegal production, transport and sale of explosives and sodium cyanide, as well as illegal mining activities.

Those who illegally purchase or sell gold products could also be penalized. In addition, a long term supervision mechanism will be established to ensure abandoned mines are blocked up and are subject to oversight.

In December, police in Jiangxian county in Shanxi province received a report that six people had gone missing. They found that on the night of December 22 to 23, a native of Songxian county of Henan province surnamed Liu, took five others to a shuttered mine without authorization, and disappeared. The six were eventually found dead at a depth of about 2,700 meters.

Two people who had invested in the illegal operation and who had participated in the delivery of materials have been captured and the case is under investigation.

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