Nghệ An Police to investigate tailing pond breach

Nghệ An Province authorities have asked police to investigate Suối Bắc Tin Mining Enterprise, after a tailing pond breach allegedly resulted in the river pollution and mass fish death, an official said.

The tin tailing pond Suối Bắc Tin Mining Enterprises broke on March 9, polluting rivers and causing mass fish death in the central province of Nghệ An. - Photo news.zing.vn

Đinh Viết Hồng, vice chairman of Nghệ An Province’s People’s Committee, said on Tuesday at a meeting with the company representatives and Quỳ Hợp District authorities that a comprehensive investigation on the enterprise’s activities will be conducted.

All violations will be assessed and responsibilities of relevant parties will be clarified, he said.  

Also on Tuesday, an inspection team from the Ministry of Industry and Trade released its initial results after inspecting the scene.

Tô Xuân Bảo, deputy head of Industrial Safety Techniques and Environment Agency under the MoIT, said the fact that company did not follow approved designs might have caused the break of tailing pond.

The flooding corridor of the tailing pond was built by soil instead of stone and concrete as designed, the inspection’s leader said at a press conference held on Tuesday with relevant agencies.

He added that the company has ignored environmental assessment report that must be certified by the provincial People’s Committee after a project was finished.

The inspection team asked the company to stop the tin mining activities and build a new tailing pond to ensure the safety.

Vị Thanh Tường, vice chairman of Quỳ Hợp District’s People’s Committee, said two hundred kilograms of fish have been killed and over 300 hectares of paddy field have been affected by the muddy water after the accident.

He asked the company to provide immediate support to affected households.

The incident took place on March 9 when 12 metres of wall of a tailing pond of the Suối Bắc Tin Mining Enterprise broke, releasing hundreds of cubic metres of mud and leach residue into the Nậm Huống River.

The toxic residue flowed into some fish farming ponds in Châu Thành Commune and natural streams in neighbouring communes.

The stream water was still murky five days after the leakage, and black residue could be seen along the banks of Nậm Huống Stream on Tuesday.

Suối Bắc Tin Mining Enterprise is owned by Nghệ Tĩnh Feerous Metal Company, which has been in operation for years.

Source VNS