Water Warning In Kratie, Gold Mine Chemical Leak Blamed

Kratie: Local authorities in Kbal Domrei commune, Sambor district, have ordered residents near a gold mine in the village of O’Trakuon to stay away from water after dead fish were found floating on November 25th.

The death of the fish was said to have been caused by contaminated water from a major Chinese gold mining company, Xing Yuan Kann Yeak , which recently renewed its mining license and started the process of chemical mineralization a few months ago.

The village chief, Mr. Sok Yeun, said on November 26 that he expressed concern about the poison, which will flow through the stream to other streams and extend into the Mekong River. The village chief confirmed that the stream, which was contaminated with dead fish, was in the back of the village and his people were used this water daily.

However, he has warned his people to stop using the water for a while, pending a visit by a professional.  He also claimed that this had never happened before, and puts the blame on the Chinese companies which continued their mining activities.

According to the village chief, a few days ago, it rained, and rainwater drained from the processing area.

Kratie provincial officials also said that following the deadly fish poisoning in the water, officials from several departments in the province visited on November 26 to investigate.

The company has been operating in Kbal Damrey commune, Sambor district since 2010.

After more than a year of operation, at the end of 2011, at least 8 Cambodian workers were killed at the mine, forcing it to close. The mine has recently been given permission to open again. KOHSANTEPHEAP

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