Central ecological and environmental protection inspectors stationed in central enterprises to uncover the truth about pollution

  Exhaust gas treatment facilities are nothing but cross-border mining and destroy the ecological environment

  □ Our reporter Yan Jianrong

  Right now, the second round of the fourth batch of central ecological and environmental protection inspectors is sinking into the inspection stage.

The fourth batch of inspectors once again stationed in state-owned enterprises to supervise China Nonferrous Mining Group Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as China Nonferrous Metals), China National Gold Group Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as China Gold) eco-environmental protection management, environmental compliance, and implementation of ecological and environmental social responsibilities.

  The inspection team pointed out that since 2018, Daye Nonferrous Metals Group Holdings Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Daye Nonferrous), a subsidiary of China Nonferrous Metals, has been filed and punished by local authorities for environmental violations, with a penalty amount of 8.77 million yuan; China Gold is located in Yunnan , Guangxi, Guizhou 3 provinces (regions) of 13 mining companies, 9 companies have problems such as ecological damage, environmental pollution, and prominent environmental risks.

  Although the problem lies with the subordinate companies, in the view of the inspection team, the two group companies also have unshirkable responsibilities.

  Governance facilities are in vain

  Daye Nonferrous Metals Company, located in Huangshi City, Hubei Province, is a secondary enterprise of China Nonferrous Metals, which is mainly engaged in copper mining, smelting and processing.

The on-site inspection of the inspection team found that the waste gas treatment facilities of the waste copper workshop of the Daye Nonferrous Metals smelter were in vain. The shaft furnace flue gas was directly discharged without collection and treatment, and the anode furnace flue gas was dissipated obviously, and the factory area was full of smoke.

  "The smelting furnace flue gas collection and treatment system of the anode copper smelting workshop is not operating normally, and a large amount of flue gas is leaking." Unorganized emission of flue gas is very prominent.

The equipment in the sewage acid treatment workshop was seriously corroded, and a large amount of heavy metal-containing sludge and wastewater leaked into the rainwater pipe network.

  The inspection team conducted sampling and monitoring of rainwater discharged from the waste acid workshop of Daye Nonferrous Metals Company and found that the concentrations of arsenic, lead, and cadmium were 17.3 mg/L, 9.92 mg/L, and 0.912 mg/L, which exceeded the industrial pollution of copper, nickel, and cobalt. The emission limit of the “Substance Emission Standard” is 33.6 times, 18.84 times, and 8.12 times of the emission limit.

Online monitoring data shows that since 2019, the average hourly concentration of sulfur dioxide in the tail gas of smelters has exceeded the emission limit of the "Copper, Nickel, and Cobalt Industrial Pollutant Emission Standards" by 2,161 times.

  Not only that, more than 800 meters from the main stream of the Yangtze River, the waste water from the Fengshan Copper Mine tailings pond of Daye Nonferrous Metals is directly discharged into the Yangtze River.

According to the inspection team, in 2012, the environmental impact assessment for the expansion of the tailings pond required the construction of a flood interception trench of 2,550 meters.

In 2019, the Hubei Provincial Department of Ecology and Environment also clearly required companies to improve interception and drainage systems and reduce the amount of rainwater entering the reservoir.

However, this company has not built a flood interception ditch, resulting in a large amount of rainwater mixed with tailings wastewater directly discharged into the Yangtze River.

  The inspection team pointed out that, in accordance with the requirements of the relevant national department "Notice on the Work Plan for Preventing and Resolving the Safety Risks of Tailings Ponds", tailings ponds that have been out of service for more than 3 years must be closed within one year. However, since the suspension of production in 2015, The tailings pond of Chimashan Copper Mine of Daye Nonferrous Metals Co., Ltd. has been in a state of being out of service, and the closed storage management has not been completed as required.

By the time the inspection team moved in, neither closure nor ecological restoration had started.

“After the inspection by China Nonferrous Metals Group in 2019 found and pointed out this problem, Daye Nonferrous Metals did not actively rectify, and the management of the mining area remained chaotic. It even condoned other companies to use the original beneficiation plant of the Chimashan Copper Mine to illegally carry out beneficiation production.” The inspection team said , The beneficiation tailings are randomly stacked in the upstream of the tailings reservoir intercepting ditch, and part of the tailings and beneficiation wastewater enters the intercepting ditch and is discharged into the downstream industrial and agricultural reservoirs.

The lead content in the tailings reached 4246 mg/kg and the arsenic content reached 140 mg/kg, posing a serious threat to downstream reservoirs and villages.

  Lack of corporate responsibility

  In August of this year, the inspection team inspected 13 China Gold mining companies located in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guizhou provinces (regions). Among them, 9 companies were found to be lack of main responsibility, ecological damage, environmental pollution and other problems.

  Yunnan Gold Zhenyuan Branch is a subsidiary company of China Gold Secondary Company, China Gold Technology.

On-site investigation by the inspection team found that the company violated regulations and crossed the border to mine over 27 hectares, causing ecological damage.

The inspection team pointed out that the EIA approval required the company to use the existing open pit as a waste rock yard, but the company violated the regulations to build 4 waste rock yards with a total area of ​​about 16 hectares to pile waste rock.

The geological environmental protection and land reclamation tasks of the selection site, which should have been basically completed by 2020, have not yet been completed.

  Guangxi Guigang Gemdale Mining is a subsidiary of Guangxi Company, a second-tier Chinese gold company, and a national-level green mining enterprise.

However, because this national-level green mining enterprise has not implemented the ecological restoration plan for a long time, the mountain stream in the mining area is leached along the waste rock yard all the way to form a reddish brown pond, which overflows into the natural water system.

The pH value of the pond is 2.53, which is acidic. The concentrations of cyanide and arsenic are 0.63 mg/L and 3.47 mg/L, respectively, exceeding 2.15 times and 68.4 times of the standard limit of surface water class III.

  In addition, the leachate from the Longdiankeng tailing reservoir of this company is directly discharged into the mountain stream, and the copper and manganese concentrations of the discharged wastewater are 1.89 mg/L and 9.61 mg/L, respectively, exceeding the first-level standard of the Comprehensive Wastewater Discharge Standard by 2.78 times , 3.81 times, the downstream surface water lead concentration is 0.9 mg/L, which exceeds the surface water level III standard limit by 17 times.

  Yunnan Gold Xinping Branch is a subsidiary of China Gold Secondary Company, China Gold Technology.

The inspection team pointed out that the company did not dispose of the waste rock in accordance with the requirements of the approval, but directly piled it along the Mayang River without authorization.

At the same time, rust-colored sewage seeps from the leachate collection pool of Zhanggongling Tailings Reservoir in Jinqi Mining, a subsidiary of Guangxi Hezhou Jinqi Mining Company, a subsidiary of China's second-tier gold company Guangxi Company. Monitoring shows that the concentration of arsenic exceeds the standard.

  The inspection team also found that the flood interception and slag retaining facilities of the waste rock yard of the Yunnan Golden Town Yuan branch were not perfect. In 2020, the slag was washed into the channel of the Mayang River tributary, causing pollution to the downstream river.

The deactivated tailings pond of Jinlong Gold Mining in Southwest Guizhou Province has not been anti-seepage. There are about 2.18 million cubic meters of cyanide-containing tailings, which poses environmental safety hazards. So far, the tailings resource management project has not yet started.

  Negative rectification and avoid the more important things

  According to the inspection team, since 2017, the local government and relevant departments have made 7 appointments or sent letters to urge Daye Nonferrous Metals to rectify outstanding ecological and environmental problems, but the company has dealt with it in a perfunctory manner.

  “During the first round of central ecological and environmental protection inspections in 2016, the masses reported serious pollution in the smelter of Daye Nonferrous. The local authorities ordered Daye Nonferrous to formulate a rectification plan and make rectification within a time limit. According to the rectification plan formulated by Daye Nonferrous, the end of 2018 The upgrading and transformation of sewage treatment facilities in the smelter should be completed before.” The inspection team said that in the face of the rectification requirements, Daye Nonferrous Metals Co., Ltd. avoided the most important and passive rectification.

  The inspection team pointed out that the inspection found that the Daye Nonferrous Metals smelter adopted emergency measures to add iron powder and hydrogen peroxide to the sedimentation tank to "rectify", but it did not solve the fundamental problems such as irregular facility construction and old rain pollution pipe network damage. Due to sexual problems, even water ditches without anti-seepage measures are used as aeration tanks.

Online monitoring data shows that the discharge of wastewater still exceeds the standard for some periods of time.

  Hongyi Mining (Gold Mine), located in Fengshan County, Guangxi, has a mining right that partially overlaps with Guangxi Leye-Fengshan Global Geopark.

In 2016, the Guangxi Autonomous Region issued the "Negative List of Industrial Access to Key Ecological Functional Zones" (hereinafter referred to as the Negative List), requiring Fengshan County to ban new gold mining projects, and existing projects will be withdrawn in 2019.

Not only did Hongyi Mining not withdraw, but instead applied for resumption of construction in 2020.

What's even more incredible is that, as a superior company, CICC Gold also approved it.

“After learning about the Negative List during the application process, instead of making rectification as required, but trying to promote the adjustment of the Negative List.” The inspector found that Hongyi Mining’s mine water was directly drained into the surrounding water bodies, and the arsenic concentration was 0.19 mg/L. It exceeds the standard limit for surface water by 2.8 times.

  Similarly, the subsidiary companies of China's second-tier gold company-Fengshan Tiancheng Gold Mining Gold Mine Mining and Processing Project and Jinxiu Maoyuan Mining Copper Mine Project are also prohibited items in the negative list and have not implemented relevant requirements.

For such a project, CICC Gold also approved it.

  What's more interesting is that “China Gold Guangxi Company has repeatedly written to the local government and relevant departments to coordinate and promote the adjustment of the negative list.” The inspection team said that Fengshan Tiancheng Gold Mining's excessive discharge of arsenic-containing wastewater caused surface water pollution.

At present, the highest arsenic concentration in the surrounding surface water is 0.15 mg/L, which is twice the standard limit for surface water III, and the highest arsenic concentration in groundwater is 0.12 mg/L, which is 11 times higher than the groundwater III standard limit.

  The inspection team also analyzed the reasons for the illegal problems of the two central enterprises' subsidiaries.

The inspection team pointed out that Daye Nonferrous Metals has a negative attitude towards long-standing environmental pollution and hidden risks, and perfunctory response to the demands of the masses and regulatory requirements. The main responsibility of ecological environmental protection is not fully implemented, and the problem of inaction is prominent.

China Nonferrous Metals has failed to supervise the many ecological and environmental problems of Daye Nonferrous Metals, ineffective in supervision and rectification, inefficient assessment, and ineffective in fulfilling group management responsibilities.

  China National Gold and related second-tier companies are accused of not adhering to ecological priority and green development, and not paying enough attention to problems such as extensive use of resources and lagging ecological restoration and governance of subordinate enterprises, and they are weak in solving problems.

Relevant enterprises located in Yunnan, Guangxi and Guizhou have a weak awareness of environmental protection laws, and the problems of ecological damage, environmental pollution and environmental risks are prominent.

  The inspection team stated that it will further investigate and verify the situation, and follow-up inspection work will be done as required.