China Minmetals to invest $1.5bn in Hunan’s smelting facilities
China Minmetals has unveiled plans to invest CNY10bn ($1.5bn) to enhance capabilities at its copper, lead and zinc smelting facilities in the Hunan province, according to Reuters.
China Minmetals Nonferrous Metals chairman Huang Guoping was cited by Huasheng Online, a website run by the Hunan provincial government, in a report stating that the company is expected to invest in new smelting technology this month in order to eliminate the discharge of industrial wastewater.
The company is planning to infuse funds in facilities in the Shuikoushan area, located in the south of Hunan in south-central China, reported Huasheng.
The investment commitment from the company follows allegations of pollution made by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) inspectors against riverside zinc smelters owned by local Minmetals unit Hunan Shuikoushan Nonferrous Metals Group.
Last month, Hunan-based nonferrous metals producing subsidiaries of Minmetals were accused by the MEP of failing to address a series of environmental violations.
According to a survey published in 2015 by China Academy of Sciences, ten million hectares of arable land in the country contained traces of heavy metals.
The findings were discovered in major metal producing regions such as Hunan, Jiangxi, Yunnan, Sichuan and Guangxi.
The prevailing problem of environmental pollution is being attributed to abandoned mines and smelting plants, with scientists pointing to more than 100,000 firms having abandoned a huge quantity of waste and relocating to new sites since 2001.