By Vietnam News
Quang Tri province, Vietnam, February 24, 2016
The exploitation of an iron mine has caused landslide, damaging some 25ha of rice fields in Ho Hamlet, Huong Son Commune, Huong Hoa District of the in this Central Quang Tri Province.
The local authority identified an upstream iron mine, managed by Hoanh Son Industry, Trade and Services JSC, as the source of the problem.
Apart from ruining the rice fields, which have now been abandoned, sand and rubble from the mine have blocked the Khe Let stream. Moreover, vehicles transporting the iron ore have damaged a section of the road connecting the commune with Huong Hoa District.
Ho Van Sang, 35, said his family’s 0.5ha rice field, which typically provides one tonne of rice yearly, is now covered with sand and rubble.
“The coming period between crops will be very hard on my family and many others in the commune,” he said.
The mining company had started to dig at the beginning of 2015 after spending three years soliciting tree and land clearance approvals. A year later, sand and rubble from the upstream iron mine covered most of the hamlet’s rice fields.
“The mine’s exploitation has seriously affected the lives of the local people and agricultural production,” the Huong Son Commune People’s Committee’s Deputy Chairman Ho Van Ta said.
The company completed its exploitation initiatives at the end of 2015 but still hasn’t returned the land for afforestation efforts in accordance with its original commitment.
The district authority has already sent the company a notice, asking it to follow its commitment, but has yet to receive a response. Moreover, the district has barred the company from continuing to exploit the area for iron ore due to the negative impact on the local people’s lives and the environment.