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China's No.1 Gold Mining Firm Hit by Spills

THE LARGEST Gold Mining company in China – now the world's No.1 producer nation – has been hit by accusations of negligence over a series of toxic spills at its mines.

Zijin Mining was first warned by China's environmental agencies to improve its waste water procedures in September 2009. The Chinese securities regulator is now investigating a possible breach of disclosure rules following Zijin's one-week delay in reporting a toxic leak at its Fujian copper site.

The largest Gold Mining producer in China, Zijin was already under investigation for an apparent leak of 9,100 cubic meters of waste water from a copper site in Fujian province.

Then last week, 500 cubic meters of sewage leaked from a copper and Gold Mining site, also in Fujian, into the nearby Tingjiang river.

According to Bloomberg, these latest spills have put two major Gold Mining acquisitions by Zijin on hold, since the "The company will have to focus on cleaning up, and their expansion plans in and out of China may be put on a backburner for the next year or two," reckons Helen Lau, an analyst at UOB-Kay Hian in Hong Kong.

Gold Mining investors saw shares in Zijin tumble 17% last week as news of the latest environmental accidents, clean-up orders and compensation payments made to local fishermen broke.

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