Villagers near Phichit gold mine poisoned by heavy metals

The institute under the Justice Ministry found manganese and arsenic in 329 of 600 blood samples collected from locals in Thap Khlo district near the mine, which is part of the Chatree Mining Complex operated by Akara Resources Plc. The company operates mines in Saraburi, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun provinces.

Institute chief Porntip Rojanasunan estimated 6,000 people might be contaminated with the two heavy metals as well as cadmium, which was found in plants as far as four kilometres from the mine.

Report: One fifth of China's soil contaminated

Conducted between 2005-2013, it found that 16.1% of China's soil and 19.4% of its arable land showed contamination.

The report, by the Environmental Protection Ministry, named cadmium, nickel and arsenic as top pollutants.

There is growing concern, both from the government and the public, that China's rapid industrialisation is causing irreparable damage to its environment.

The study took samples across an area of 6.3 million square kilometres, two-thirds of China's land area.

Villagers near gold mine seek police help

"We demand that police bring the perpetrators to justice," the residents said in a statement.

The villagers, calling themselves the Love Homeland Group, said in the statement that the firm, which has been in the area since 2006, had its mining operation suspended due to its adverse impact on the environment and the potentially fatal health hazard it posed to villagers.

Since the firm entered the area, villagers have also been pitted against one another, and have even taken their dispute to court, the statement said.

Rathupaswala test results sent for final report

A Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) spokesman said the laboratory tests on soil, mud and water samples in Rathupaswala were concluded last Monday, and the results were sent for the compilation of the final report.

Investigations on the cause of water pollution in Rathupaswala were carried out by GSMB on the direction of Environment and Renewable Energy Ministry and on a court order.

Thailand: PCD finalises plan on Mae Sot clean-up

The Pollution Control Department (PCD) has finished drafting a plan to clean up several tracts of land in Tak's Mae Sot district contaminated with cadmium.

The plan will be submitted to the National Environment Board (NEB) for approval next month, PCD chief Wichien Jungrungruang said.

Cadmium, a toxic heavy metal, was detected in three tambons in early 2004 by foreign scientists from the International Water Management Institute.

Vietnam Prepares Draft Guidelines on Contaminated Soil Monitoring

On November 29-30, 2011, Vietnam hosted a regional consultation meeting in Hanoi joined by counterpart officials from Korea, Malaysia and Thailand to share ideas on a draft technical guideline on contaminated soil monitoring. At the consultation meeting, experts shared lessons learned and recommendations based on implementation challenges and success in their respective countries. As for the next steps, Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will finalized the technical guidelines and explore opportunities to continue their twinning partnership with Korea.