Villagers ransack mining site in Vietnam

Published: Thursday 31 January 2008

Hundreds of Vietnamese villagers ransacked a proposed titanium mining site on December 28, which they fear will pollute the soil and the ground water.

Over 300 protesters destroyed machinery and pipelines at the site near the seaside of Tam Tien commune in central province of Quang Nam, say local media reports.

The residents became outraged after they learned that the company, Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, had cut down a 15-hectare stretch of forest that had protected the villages from sand and storms. Chu Lai plans to first mine the area for titanium--a metal used in the light alloy for aircrafts and automobiles--and to later build a tourist resort there.

The Vietnamese government is aggressively promoting open economic zones to attract foreign investment.

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