A mine in China’s Yunnan province that produced some of the world’s most valuable gold ore in the 1980s and 90s is abandoned due the high levels of pollution it has been subjected to.
In April, the Yunnan Mining Corp (YMC) said it had started work on an 8,000-kilometer-long mine that was supposed to produce 1,200 metric tons of gold a year.
However, after the project’s initial planning was suspended, the company decided to halt production and to concentrate on refining the gold, which is harder to mine.
Yunnan Mining Corporation said the gold was produced in the same facility that was used to process aluminum ore, which would require the mine to continue operating.
“The mine’s owners have already begun work on refining gold at the Yunzhuan Mine in Hubei Province,” the company said in a statement on its website on June 30.
“After the refinery and mine were restarted, the output of gold ore at the plant was higher than the original goal.
Therefore, the YMC has decided to temporarily suspend production of gold and concentrate on refining the precious metal in the refinery.”
The Yunzuan Mine was part of the Yunzhang Gold Project, which was developed to produce up to 400,000 metric tons a year, according to the statement.
The refinery and gold production facilities at the mine were not operational until June 27.YMC said it was cooperating with authorities in Yunnan and other regions in order to prevent the pollution from spreading to other mines.
The mine was officially listed on the Yanchang Gold Mines and Mines Administration’s (YMGMA) website on Monday.
The YMC said in its statement that the mine was not connected to the Yunshan Gold Project but instead was “owned by a private company.”
The YMC’s statement added that the company is “working to bring the mine back online in good condition so that the gold ore and copper can be extracted in an environmentally friendly way.”