Mongolia cracks down on illegal gold mining

08:32, January 28, 2011      

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Mongolian authorities have taken steps to stop illegal gold mining operations in an eastern province, local media reported Thursday.

Two illegal gold miners, or "ninja miners," were detained by police in Batshireet county of Khentii province, for allegedly extracting gold in a mining company's exploration areas, according to the reports.

Police also seized a large amount of dirt with gold ore transported from the area by the ninja miners and confiscated eight vehicles.

The provincial police force worked with local officials in the investigation, interrogating 54 county residents over six days regarding illegal gold mining activities.

Ninja miners are unlicensed individuals who look for gold mainly in abandoned gold fields and unauthorized locations. Many are unemployed youths, students, and impoverished herders.

Some reports said there are as many as 100,000 ninja miners throughout Mongolia.

A bill to regulate ninja mining activities is pending in the Mongolian Parliament.

Source: Xinhua

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