Dec. 29 -- The Chinese province of Fujian fined Zijin Mining Group Co. Chairman Chen Jinghe and Vice President Zou Laichang a combined 1.16 million yuan for waste spills in July, according to a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Chen was fined 705,997 yuan ($106,566) and Zou 449,768 yuan for the two leaks of acid copper solution at the Zijinshan Gold and Copper Mine on July 3 and July 16, according to the statement.
The direct economic loss from the spills totaled 31.9 million yuan, said today’s statement. The company said earlier the July accidents, among the industry’s worst, polluted the Ting River in Fujian province and poisoned enough fish to feed 72,000 residents for a year.
Zijin shares declined as much as 2.9 percent to HK$6.81, the lowest in more than two months, and traded at HK$6.86 in Hong Kong as of 12:19 p.m. The shares fell 2.3 percent to 7.63 yuan at the midday break in Shanghai trading. The Shanghai shares have fallen 20 percent in the last 12 months, while the Hong Kong shares are down 11 percent.
The police detained the Zijinshan copper plant’s manager, deputy manager and the head of environment during the investigation after the company waited nine days before revealing the spill.
In a separate statement, the company said it agreed to sell the assets and mining rights at its Yinyan tin mine in the southern province of Guangdong to cover costs related to the deadly collapse of a dam at the site in September.
Altogether 28 people were declared dead or missing in the disaster, said Tang Hao, a spokesman of the Guangdong provincial government, according to a transcript on the website of Nanfang Daily, a government-sponsored newspaper.
Zijin reported four deaths citing information from county- level officials. It’s unclear if the other casualties cited by Tang are directly related to the dam collapse, Company Secretary Zheng Yuqiang said on Sept. 27.
While the dam collapsed in rainfall generated by a typhoon occurring only once in more than 200 years, the subsidiary operating the mine Xinyi Zijin is mainly responsible for the incident, according to the statement, citing an investigation team.