Mineral extraction halted to save camels
In moves to protect wildlife, more than 130 mining projects in two large nature reserves in northwestern China have been closed, while 15 more have been told to cease operations when their licenses expire.
Western Region Gold Co had two applications for gold and iron exploration in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region rejected on Aug 4 as the land it wanted to explore is in the Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve.
The company was also told to halt all exploration activities in the area, and that all future applications will be rejected — in line with a national guideline issued this year that aims to create an ecological “red line” by the end of 2020.
The moves come after authorities closed down 132 prospecting projects currently operating in the camel reserve and in the Altunshan Nature Reserve, both of which are located in Ruoqiang county.
“Since April last year, we have been notifying prospecting and mining companies,” said Alimjan Mamat, head of mineral resources management for the county land and resources bureau. “Some stopped exploration activities in order to avoid unnecessary investment and losses.”