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Pollution woes: Gov’t meets with locals about mine

Officials from the Ministry of Mines and Energy yesterday met with villagers in Ratanakkiri province’s Taveng district about a gold mine they allege violates the law and introduces toxic chemicals into the nearby Sesan River.

Taveng District Governor Muong Pang said he ordered the companies that operate the mine – one Chinese, the other Vietnamese – to halt work in April to no avail.

One company was licensed to dredge sand, but not to mine, he said.

“The [mine department] authorities promised the villagers they will take action,” Pang said. “I ask the villagers to please not worry about this.”

Tram Thaim, who was visited by the governor and ministry officials at his home along the Sesan, said time is of the essence in stopping work at the mine.

“We have waited a long time. We need the company to stop their activity in this river, because it affects all residents’ health,” Thaim said during the visit.

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