Chinese Mining Operations Temporarily Suspended Following Animal Poisonings in Niger

A mission report published by a delegation of members from the commune of Tabelot, in conjunction with the Nigerien Defense and Security Forces (FDS), found that chemicals used in the processing of gold by Chinese-owned company Sahara SARL in Fasso locality, 21 miles from Tabelot, contaminated the commune’s well water, leading to the death of around 50 animals.

What You Need to Know:

The death of 50 animals, mainly goats, has resulted in the temporary suspension of artisanal and semi-mechanized mining activities by Sahara SARL at three sites in Fasso. According to local reports, residue from explosive dynamites, and other chemicals, leached into the water table, hence why animals living almost 21 miles east of the mining sites were affected.

According to VOA, Sahara SARL began its gold mining operations in Fasso locality in January in the middle of grazing grounds “where there are hardly any natural waterholes.” Also, the suspension of mining activities is only temporary; the mission report recommended several actions to be taken to combat any further poisonings from occurring, including the regular checking of mining permits, the collection, treatment, and adequate management of contaminated water, and a drive to raise awareness among breeders. This awareness drive includes a recommendation to breeders to increase their monitoring of the herds.

So, What Now?:

The short-term closing of the mines will do little to properly address the water issue in Tabelot, with the Chinese company unlikely to fully incorporate the report’s recommendations.

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.


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