From: Associated Press
Published June 13, 2007 12:00 AM

Tibet To Ban Gold Mining To Protect the Environment

BEIJING -- Local officials in Tibet plan to ban the mining of gold, mercury, arsenic and peat to preserve mineral resources and protect the environment, state media reported Wednesday.

"Mercury and arsenic mining can pollute water supplies, peat mining can destroy wetlands and gold mining can ruin grasslands and rivers," Wang Baosheng, director of Tibet's Land and Resources Department, was quoted as saying by the Xinhua News Agency.

Many parts of China are seriously polluted because of both legal and illegal mining, contaminating water supplies.

Tibet is a source of water for parts of southern China because the Qinghai-Tibet plateau feeds the massive Yangtze river which flows through to the sea near Shanghai.

The report did not say when the ban would come into effect.

Source: Associated Press

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