Risky Business

Investigating the hazards of phosphate mining in Longmen Mountains, Sichuan Province

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Publication - 2013-04-16
Continuous phosphate mining has increased the risk of disaster in the Longmen Mountain region with the dangers of mining near an earthquake zone seriously underestimated. The geological structure of these mountains combined with deep valleys, and the broken, loose topographic shape of the land has become the perfect recipe for geological disaster. Under such fragile geological conditions, the restorative construction of mines, combined with ongoing phosphate productions, has dramatically escalated the risks of another geological disaster.

Continuous phosphate mining has increased the risk of disaster in the Longmen Mountain region with the dangers of mining near an earthquake zone seriously underestimated. The geological structure of these mountains combined with deep valleys, and the broken, loose topographic shape of the land has become the perfect recipe for disaster.

Phosphate mining has also led to severe damage of local vegetation, along with noise and water pollution, which in turn directly threaten the lives of a local giant panda population. Mining activities and road construction are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to damage inflicted on the giant panda habitat, second only to the longstanding logging activity in the area. 

The Jiu Ding Mountain Nature Reserve, Xiao Mu Ling and Ban Peng Zi areas are also listed as part of a giant panda habitat restoration project. And yet exploration and mining activities continue to grow in these areas.

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Living with Danger

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