December 24, 2019 / 12:48 PM / 2 months ago

China seeks to tackle environmental damage caused by mining

FILE PHOTO: A dog walks past a crack in the ground in an area where land is sinking next to a coal mine in the deserted Duxigou village of Xiaoyi, China's Shanxi province, August 2, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - China plans to promote investment in repairing environmental damage caused by mining, and wants a mixture of public and private entities to contribute, the Ministry of Natural Resources said on Tuesday.

More than 3.6 million hectares of land in China was used and damaged by mining activities at the end of 2018, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

Until now restoration has been held up by a lack of effective policies to stimulate investment, according to the ministry.

The ministry’s “market-oriented way” for the restoration process aims to encourage the repair and utilization of mine land, including suitable use of abandoned soil and stones left over from mining.

It also aims to encourage social capital investment by granting land usage rights for abandoned state-owned construction land after the restoration is completed.

The plans, which will be in force for five years, will include all entities including private firms, according to the ministry.

Reporting by Min Zhang and Emily Chow. Editing by Jane Merriman

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