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Efferts Called to Crack down Illegal Mining
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Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan has called for greater efforts to curb chaos in the mineral resource development sector, including bring an end to unlicensed mining, wasteful development and damage to the environment.

He made the remarks at a meeting that opened Saturday in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Although the drive to end chaos has been going on for one year, the vice premier said, issues such as unlicensed mining, unauthorized approval, waste of resources and damage to the environment are still very rampant.

"We must give high attention to these issues and try to resolve them as soon as possible," he said.

Zeng said authorities must focus their efforts on the crackdown on illegal activities and give priority to major mines and the mining of critical mineral resources.

Mines that cause damage and pollute the environment or are not safe for miners to work in must be shut down, he said.

The vice premier called for the establishment of a mineral resources development system that fits with the country's burgeoning market economy.

Such a system, he says, shall include a clear division of responsibilities between the central and local government, and charging of royalties for mining rights.

There must be a mechanism for the raising of funds to make mines safer for workers, as well as to protect and restore the environment, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2006)

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