Ministry inspects gravel-pit, sand-dredging operations
  • | VNS | September 21, 2011 04:28 PM

Inspectors from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment team on Monday began inspecting operations to mine sand, stones, and other building materials in the south-eastern province of Binh Duong.

Dao Thanh Binh, deputy head of the ministry\'s Mineral Management Department and head of the inspection team, said several aspects would be inspected, including safety and measures to mitigate environmental impact.

The team would also look into procedures for issuing mining licences by the province, he said.

Forty one mining licences have been issued to 25 companies to exploit building materials, including clay and kaolin.

They mine about 14 million cubic metres of materials a year on a total area of 500ha, according to the province\'s Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

It admitted oversight of mining at the grassroots level remained lax, leading to rampant illegal exploitation.

This caused adverse impacts on farming and the lives of people in many areas, it added.

For instance, in Tan Uyen District\'s Thuong Tan Commune, which has dozens of stone mines, people living along roads on which the stones are transported suffer from respiratory diseases caused by stone dust.

Each household here had an average of two persons suffering from sinusitis or sore throat, local authorities said.

Rice fields belonging to more than 100 families were also affected by the stone dust and did not flower.

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