The local authorities of China's Tibet Autonomous Region are set
to ban the mining of gold, mercury, arsenic and peat to preserve
mineral resources and protect the environment.
"Mercury and arsenic mining can pollute water supplies, peat
mining can destroy wetlands and gold mining can ruin grasslands and
rivers," said Wang Baosheng, director of the Land and Resources
Department of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The region is drawing up a new plan to protect mineral resources
following the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, Wang said.
"Although Tibet boasts rich resources of arsenic and gold, we
will still ban the exploitation of these resources for the sake of
environmental protection," he said.
Dubbed as Asia's Water Tower, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has
abundant resources of water, wetlands and grasslands. Thirty-eight
nature reserves have been established in Tibet encompassing an area
of 408,300 square kilometers, accounting for 34 percent of the
region's total land area.
(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2007)