Cambodia: Govt. shuts down illegal gold mining operations after mass poisoning that caused 13 deaths
Author: Khy Sovuthy, Khmer Times, Published on: 2 June 2018
"Authorities shutter illegal mines", 30 May 2018
Nearly 30 illegal gold mining operations have been shuttered in Mondolkiri province...in the wake of a poisoning case that killed 13 villagers....
Leat Limkun, chief of Keo Seima district's Chong Phlas commune, said..that joint forces from the national and provincial levels shut down 29 anarchic gold mining operations....
..."Now the provincial authority is continuing to inspect gold mining operations," he said, noting he was not sure how long it would last.
...The compliance push was spurred by a poisoning case...where early 300 villagers fell ill, leading to the death of 13 people in Chetr Borei district where water from the Prek Ter stream was contaminated.
About 80 villagers in Mondolkiri province were also hospitalised after poisoning from stream water.
The Health Ministry initially blamed the tainted water on pesticides and also claimed villagers had died from drinking methanol-laced rice wine.
...Industry Minister Cham Prasidh...Mines Minister Suy Sem...and Health Minister Mam Bunheng signed a statement saying that the deaths were indeed caused by agricultural pollution resulting from toxic run-off.