A gold mine run by a Chinese company in southern Laos is releasing waste into a river in Sekong province, killing fish and fouling water used by villagers for drinking and bathing, Lao sources say.
The Lao Kaleum Gold Mining Project began operations last year and has polluted local water sources ever since it was launched, a resident of Ateng village, one of the affected areas, told RFA’s Lao Service on Tuesday.
“The gold mining takes place on higher ground, and the waste flows down to a reservoir,” the villager said, asking for anonymity to speak freely.
“But the reservoir is not up to standard. It leaks and overflows, and then the waste flows down to the river where we drink and bathe.”
“The pollution has already killed a lot of fish,” he added.
Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Richard Finney.