Large-scale exploitation of mineral in the Gyama Valley.
DHARAMSHALA, March 31: A major landslide has hit a mining area in Medro Gungkar near Lhasa burying 83 workers Friday morning.
Reports coming from Tibet said that two of the buried workers were Tibetan while others are believed to be ethnic Han Chinese.
The miners worked for a subsidiary of the China National Gold Group Corp, a state-owned enterprise. It is China’s largest gold producer.
According to state-run China Central Television, more than 1000 rescuers, including police, firefighters and medical personnel are working at the site and 200 large vehicles and equipment and sniffer dogs are being used in the rescue.
About 2.6 million cubic yards of mud, rock and debris swept through the area as the covered an area measuring around 1.5 square miles.
On Friday, China’s new leaders Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang ordered to put all efforts to rescue the buried workers.
In an official press release issued by the Environment and Development Desk (EDD) of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile states that it fear that this tragic incident could be a result of the aggressive expansion and large-scale exploitation of mineral in the Gyama Valley. This is a “man-made phenomenon rather than just a ‘natural disaster’” the release said.
EDD said it hopes that Chinese government will put sincere efforts to figure out the real cause of the landslide in the mine operated by Huatailong Mining Development Co. Ltd, (a subsidiary of the State-owned China National Gold Group Corporation) and take appropriate measures.
Environment Desk also called on the Chinese authorities to ensure active participation of Tibetan people in all decision making process in Tibet; fully investigate the impacts on society, environment and culture; check migration and settlement of non-Tibetans in Tibet and ownership of Tibetan land and resources are not transferred to non-Tibetans.