China's Zijin Mining pays out over deadly dam collapse
HONG KONG: China's Zijin Mining said Tuesday it would pay about 7.5 million US dollars to help victims of a dam collapse near a tin mine that killed at least 22 people.
The company, China's top gold producer, said its board approved subsidiary Xinyi Zijin giving the 50 million yuan to the Xinyi City government to express its "deep sorrow and regret" over the incident in September.
In a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange it said the money was "in order to assist victims" downstream from Xinyi Zijin Yinyan Tin Mine to be able to rebuild, and to "fulfill the company's social responsibility."
it backed Xinyi Zijin "to take all measures (including disposal of assets and equity) to raise funds to settle claims made by the victims of the disaster in priority."
Zijing Mining shares fell about two percent to 6.86 Hong Kong dollars (88 US cents) by the break.
It said Tuesday it accepted a provincial government report finding it and Xinyi Zijin responsible for the fatal dam collapse due to safety and construction violations, which were aggravated by a typhoon.
About three dozen peopleincluding local government workers-were "believed to be responsible" for the accident in southern Guandong province, the official Xinhua news agency reported, provincial authorities.
The cases of 15 people were passed to court officials "for further possible penalties," Xinhua said.
Zijin Mining made headlines earlier this year after a toxic spill at a copper mine it operates in the country's southeast contaminated a major river, killing nearly 2,000 tonnes of fish.
In a separate statement Tuesday, Zijin Mining said the government fined its chairman Chen Jinghe and executive director Zou Laichang a combined 1.16 million yuan over the July accident. In October, the company said it had been fined 9.56 million yuan over the same incident. -Afp