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China's Zijin Mining makes payout over deadly dam collapse

by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) Dec 28, 2010
China's Zijin Mining said Tuesday it would pay out about 7.5 million US dollars to help victims of a dam collapse near a tin mine that killed at least 22 people.

The company, China's top gold producer, said its board approved subsidiary Xinyi Zijin giving the 50 million yuan to the Xinyi City government to express its "deep sorrow and regret" over the incident in September.

In a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange it said the money was "in order to assist victims" downstream from Xinyi Zijin Yinyan Tin Mine to be able to rebuild, and to "fulfill the company's social responsibility."

Zijin Mining said it backed Xinyi Zijin "to take all measures (including disposal of assets and equity) to raise funds to settle claims made by the victims of the disaster in priority."

Zijin Mining shares closed 2.4 percent lower on Tuesday at 6.84 Hong Kong dollars (87 US cents).

It said Tuesday it accepted a provincial government report finding it and Xinyi Zijin responsible for the fatal dam collapse due to safety and construction violations, which were aggravated by a typhoon.

About three dozen people -- including local government workers -- were "believed to be responsible" for the accident in southern Guangdong province, the official Xinhua news agency reported, quoting provincial authorities.

The cases of 15 people were passed to court officials "for further possible penalties," Xinhua said.

Zijin Mining made headlines earlier this year after a toxic spill at a copper mine it operates in the country's southeast contaminated a major river, killing nearly 2,000 tonnes of fish.

In a separate statement Tuesday, Zijin Mining said the government fined its chairman Chen Jinghe and executive director Zou Laichang a combined 1.16 million yuan over the July accident. In October, the company said it had been fined 9.56 million yuan over the same incident.

earlier related report
Study: Dams will damage Peru's environment
Lima (UPI) Dec 27, 2010 - Environmentalists say construction of five hydroelectric dams in Peru as part of an energy agreement with Brazil will damage the environment.

A study by ProNaturaleza, a conservation organization in Peru, said almost 3.7 million acres of jungle would be destroyed over the next 20 years, Inter Press Service reported Monday.

The proposals include the Inambari dam, to be built in the Amazon rainforest in southeastern Peru. It will be the largest in Peru and the fifth largest in Latin America.

"There will be a serious impact on the Amazon ecosystems," engineer Jose Serra, who prepared the report for ProNaturaleza, said.

Before signing the agreement with Brazil, the Peruvian government should have commissioned an environmental impact study to assess the damages, Ernesto Raez, a biologist with the Cayetano Heredia University's Center for Environmental Sustainability, told IPS.

Energy experts say Peru does not need to tap Amazon jungle resources to meet domestic demand for electricity, as the country's installed capacity of more than 6,000 megawatts is sufficient to cover current needs.

Future demand, projected to grow to 12,000 megawatts by 2020, can easily be covered by the wind energy potential of the country's Andean highlands and coastal regions, they say.




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WATER WORLD
Study: Dams will damage Peru's environment
Lima (UPI) Dec 27, 2010
Environmentalists say construction of five hydroelectric dams in Peru as part of an energy agreement with Brazil will damage the environment. A study by ProNaturaleza, a conservation organization in Peru, said almost 3.7 million acres of jungle would be destroyed over the next 20 years, Inter Press Service reported Monday. The proposals include the Inambari dam, to be built in th ... read more

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