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Zijin Will Cut Gold Output After Toxic Spill Poisoned River
Jul 28,2010 09:00CST
Industry News

July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Zijin Mining Group Co., blamed for the industry’s worst spill in China in two years, said it will limit production at a gold mine in the area where the accident took place.

Gold output will be reduced by about one tonne this year because of the restriction, Zijin said in statements to the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges yesterday. The company said its H-shares will resume trading today.

China’s biggest gold producer was forced to shut its copper plant at Zijinshan in Fujian province on July 13 after acid-laced waste spilled from the site, poisoning enough fish to feed 72,000 residents for a year. Zijin, which waited nine days to reveal the spill, is being probed over disclosure of the incident by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Limiting production at the gold mine will aid efforts to reduce environmental risks, Zijin said. The Shanghang county government decided to restrict output after a meeting on July 26, the company said.

Zijin shares were suspended from trading for two days before the announcement. Zijin gained 3.7 percent to HK$4.99 on July 23, narrowing its decline to 11 percent since announcing the leak on July 13. In Shanghai, the shares have dropped 4.3 percent.

The Zijinshan copper plant’s manager, deputy manager and the head of environment were detained for the leak that polluted the Ting River, the company’s China-based Company Secretary Zheng Yuqiang said July 16. It was the worst accident in the Chinese gold mining industry since July 2008, when runoff from a Zhongjin Gold Corp. site in Dandong poisoned the water supply for 210,000 people.

The Guangdong government stopped all fishing in the Ting River until at least the end of July amid concern the spill is widening to a second province. The Guangdong and Fujian provincial governments are studying compensation demands for the fishing losses, Zhao Jugang, a company spokesman, said July 23.

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