China's largest gold miner sued 26 mln USD for fatal dam breach

20:31, February 17, 2011      

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Zijin Mining Group, China's largest gold miner, is being sued 170 million yuan (26 million U.S. dollars) for damages after water from its tailing pond burst a dam and flooded residential areas killing 22 people, a court official said Thursday.

Xinyi Municipal People's Court has accepted about 800 law suits filed against the miner by residents of Xinyi City, Guangdong Province and the number will continue to grow, said a spokesman of Xinyi Municipal People's Court.

The spokesman expected claims against the miner would amount to 300 million yuan when all the suits were received.

Twenty-two people were killed and 523 houses destroyed in Xinyi after Xinyi Zijin Yinyan Tin Mine's tailing pond overflowed and collapsed a dam amid Typhoon Fanapi on Sept. 21 last year.

A provincial government-led investigation found that the dam was poorly built and the tailings pond was also poorly built and operated. The investigation concluded that Zijin was responsible for the accident.

Zijin Mining said it respected the findings of the Guangdong provincial government. The company last December said it would donate 50 million yuan (7.5 million U.S. dollars) to those people affected by the flood.

Zijin is China's biggest gold miner and a top producer of copper and zinc.

Source: Xinhua
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