Govt to end gold mining concessions by year end

The government has decided not to renew gold mining concessions across the country at the end of this year, provoking mixed reactions from villagers and mine employees.

Residents living near gold mines in Phichit province welcomed the announcement, saying their 15-year struggle against mining pollution has paid off. They also thanked the government for helping to put an end to their problem.

While villagers and activists rejoiced at their victory, the government’s decision has dealt a sharp blow to employees in the gold mining industry. Staff at Akara Resources Plc said they are unprepared for the expected layoffs, and the company insisted that it strictly abides by safety and pollution regulations.

The Cabinet on May 10 agreed to shut down the gold mining industry by the end of the year. Mining companies are required participate in the restoration of mining zones, undertake job placements for more than 1,000 employees, and compensate affected villagers. Five agencies under four ministries will jointly supervise this process.

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Information and Source
Correspondent : Vipaporn Pooritanasarn
Rewriter : Benjamin Rujopakarn
National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://nwnt.prd.go.th

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