| The mud pool of Son Giang Metallurgy Co Ltd in Tuy An District, Phu Yen Province. (Photo: VTC News) |
The company must complete such a plan to shut down the Phong Hanh iron mine in An Dinh Commune, Tuy An District, before July 9, the district authorities said, citing a document signed by Pham Dinh Cu, chairman of the central provincial People’s Committee.
The company has been condemned for causing pollution problems during its operation.
On May 23, the provincial authorities imposed an administrative fine of VND100 million (US$4,800) on the company for setting up a 30,000 cubic meter ore-washing pool and a 1,200 square meter mud pool without a license, and for its failure to ensure environmental recovery in using these facilities.
Wastewater from the two pools, located on the side of a mountain, has often made its way to residential areas below, contaminating the daily water source for the people living there, covering farmland, and devastating crops.
More worryingly, the embankment surrounding the pools was merely made of soil and stones, so it is at a high risk of breaking.
The company is a repeat offender, local authorities added.
In May 2008, the provincial Natural Resources and Environment Department’s Inspectorate fined the company VND37.5 million for violations of regulations on mineral exploitation and environmental protection.
In September 2011, the Inspectorate imposed another fine of VND13 million for exploiting minerals outside the allowed area.
Two months before, the provincial People’s Committee fined the company VND130 million for failing to operate its environmental treatment system in accordance with the approved environmental impact assessment report. VietNamNet/Tuoi Tre