Efforts made by Quang Nam provincial authorities have not helped stop illegal gold mining there, as farmers' rice fields and land have been used for large gold mining sites.
Hamlet Pa Lanh in Ca Dy Commune of the mountainous district of Nam Giang is called “the great illegal gold mining site” or “the gold bandits' nest”.
There, reporters are received as uninvited guests. Anyone can be discovered as soon as they set foot on land. Reporters recently were met by many men on a muddy road with crowbars and knives in their hands.
“Why are you coming here? You seem to be not afraid of death?” a man asked the reporters.
Deep holes were found everywhere in the land, while the rice fields were leveled to the ground. Signs show that the gold mining site has been there for a long time.
Some small machines were seen on the site, which indicated that many workers were there to dig into the earth with this equipment.
A large area of 10 hectares along the Cai River, starting from Pa Lanh Hamlet to Thanh My Town, was excavated and cut into small pieces by illegal gold miners.
Pits from dozens of meters to 100 metres deep could be found everywhere. The landslide was seen at many places on the Cai River, while the river water turned muddy.
At the bottom of the pits, there were many men working. Some cottages were seen nearby, which could be accommodations for the workers.
Though they had to live in poor conditions, they still tried to set an altar to commemorate the dead workers.
The illegal gold mining site is just 200 meters far away from the Ho Chi Minh Road, but local authorities have not been informed about the “hot spot”.
Rice fields sold to miners
Several reporters met Tran Thi No, a farmer in Pa Lanh Commune, who complained that her field had been damaged by excavation.
“I met a man named Nam, who was introduced as the leader of the mining site. He promised to offer compensation for my damaged field. But he has disappeared,” she said.
She is not alone. All the fields in the area have been excavated by gold diggers in their “gold rush”.
A local resident said that most of the fields have been sold to “big bosses”, i.e., the leaders of gold mining rings.
He said, on average, every household received VND10 million from selling fields, while some received VND40-50 million, very attractive sums of money for the locals.
The rice fields could feed many families in the locality. However, gold mining has prevented that.
The illegal gold mining in the Cai River area has changed the river's streams. As a result, water cannot be brought into fields, and farming has become unstable as it depends on the rainfall.
“I am afraid that there will be no land for locals to cultivate in the future,” the local resident said.
Dai Doan Ket
ho chi minh road, to the ground, to live in, ho chi minh, quang nam, gold mining, rice fields, on land, to be, the earth, local authorities, hot spot
Climate change affects children(21:06 25/09/2014)
Ministry wants to shut down two polluting sugar factories(15:39 25/09/2014)
Erosion hits thousands all over Mekong Delta(10:41 25/09/2014)
Khanh Hoi estuary in Ca Mau eroded seriously(17:05 24/09/2014)
HCM City air pollution causes major health problems(17:05 24/09/2014)
HCM City considers collecting water-drainage fees(00:15 24/09/2014)
Waste dumped into forests in Dong Nai, authorities say they know nothing(00:15 24/09/2014)
Loggers ravage forests of Sua trees in Thanh Hoa city(10:12 11/09/2014)
'Spice of kings' at risk of disappearing(09:49 10/09/2014)
Most would give up wildlife products(15:14 09/09/2014)
Leaked chlorine gas damages crops, land in Ha Giang(08:45 09/09/2014)