The Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China has closed 29 mines to improve the environment in river source areas, along the Qinghai-Tibet railway, around scenic spots and in major grasslands and wetlands.
The action was taken in accordance with a decision made by the regional economic and trade bureau, the regional bureau of land and resources, and the regional bureau for environmental protection.
The three bureaus have canceled permits for the 29 mines, which are located in Ali, Nagqu and Qamdo.
Zhang Tianhua, deputy director of the regional bureau for environmental protection, said Tibet boasts rich mineral resources but a fragile environment.
"Development of resources must be predicated on the protection of the environment and we cannot achieve development at the cost of the interests of our future generations."
Zhang said other mines also face closure if they do not meet the requirements for environment protection.
(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2003)