SHANGHAI, Jul. 11 (SMM) – Lead mining in China’s Guangxi region has yet to be affected by a local river pollution scandal, Shanghai Metals Market has learned.
Industrial waste discharges polluted He river in Guangxi’s Hezhou city with toxic metals such as cadmium and thallium, according to Chinese media reports early this month. Five local government officials were suspended this week from their duties as a result.
Initial investigation showed that polluters were illegal metal productions bases along He river’s Mawei branch.
While a total of 79 such small, illegal bases have been closed so far, most of them are ore sorting yards for iron and tin, SMM learned.
As Guangxi’s main lead mining and production centre Hechi city is 300-500 kilometers away from Hezhou city, lead supplies have not been affected yet, Zhu Rongrong, SMM’s lead analyst said today.
Still, ``the He river pollution scandal may be a prelude to a new round of environmental cleanup campaign in the whole region,’’ she added.
About 380,000 tons of lead concentrates were produced in Guangxi in 2012, accounting for 13% of total national output, according to data from China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association.