Firm Apologizes for Leak

Zijin Mining Group Company’s board of directors issued an apology for the Ting River acid spill. Via the Wall Street Journal:

A major Chinese mining company offered a rare public apology for its role in polluting a local river, while fishing vessels helped clean up a large oil slick off the major port city of Dalian, as China continues to grapple with a spate of industrial accidents.

In a series of statements this week, China’s Zijin Mining Group Co. backtracked from earlier explanations that weather caused wastewater from its copper processing plant in China’s southeastern Fujian province to leak into the Ting River and kill fish. Company failures were to blame as well, Zijin Chairman Chen Jinghe said in a 10-minute appearance late Monday on Fujian province television.

Zijin’s board of directors followed up with an apology that expressed regret for the accident, blamed the company’s “weak” management, and pledged unspecified compensation and remediation.

“The Company was overconfident, had a lack of crisis awareness and didn’t properly handle the balance between economic efficiency, ecological benefit and public interest,” the board letter said.

China Securities Regulatory Commission will be investigating Zijin’s delayed disclosure of the leak. From Caixin:

China’s securities regulator, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), opened an investigation on July 19 into Zijin Mining’s notification to the public of the wastewater leak, according to an announcement from Zijin Mining the same day. The total economic losses related to the leakage incidents from the Zijinshan Copper Mine smelting plant will be released after the investigation.

Wastewater from a Zijinshan Copper Mine smelting plant leaked copper acid into the nearby Ting River in Shanghang county of Fujian Province on July 3, resulting in the poisoning of 1,890 tons of fish and massive economic losses for local fishermen. On July 16, another huge leak occurred at the same Zijinshan Copper Mine smelting plant. Five hundred cubic meters of wastewater leaked into the Ting River.

[…] Zijin Mining delayed public disclosure of the incident until July 13, which brought widespread criticism. The company announced that about 9,100 cubic meters of wastewater containing copper acid flowed into the Ting River. On July 12, Zijin Mining suspended the trading of its A-shares and H-shares on July 12.

(Images via Caixin, from CFP)

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