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Xietongmen mine awaiting final clearance from Beijing

(TibetanReview.net, Nov 14) — Continental Minerals is awaiting final approval from Beijing – having submitted final paperwork, including a reclamation plan – to begin mining copper and gold from Xietongmen mine near Tibet’s capital Lhasa, reported Reuters Nov 12. The company will use the Qinghai-Tibet Railway to ship ores to a smelter in inland China.

The mine requires a series of tailing dams and water diversion engineering to prevent mining waste from contaminating the Yarlung River, Dickson Hall, vice president of business development, was cited as saying, adding, “This project has all the elements. It will go ahead”.

The $520 million mining project is also reported to be in talks with Standard Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, or ICBC, for financing the project.

The report said the Xietongmen project was one of several new mining projects in Tibet made possible by the railroad to Lhasa, which began operations in July 2006. “There’s a lot of interest in Tibet from miners. It’s one of the few virgin territories left in China,” Xu Weiqin, who runs a clearinghouse for buying and selling mining stakes in Lhasa, has said.

Chinese aluminium and copper giant Aluminum Corp of China, or Chinalco, in Sep’08 set up an exploration unit in Tibet. It joined fellow Chinese miners Western Mining Co and Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd, which plan to begin production in Nov’08 from Chamdo prefecture’s Yulong copper deposit, the PRC’s largest.

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