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Xinjiang nature reserve suspends mining to restore environment

Updated: Dec 9,2017 10:14 AM     Xinhua

URUMQI — Altun Mountain National Nature Reserve in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has suspended all mining activities to restore its environment, local authorities said on Dec 8.

According to the reserve management bureau, they have stopped 69 mining exploration and exploitation projects in the reserve, as part of a national campaign to tighten environmental supervision in national nature reserves.

All mining activities within the 46,800-square-kilometer reserve will be banned, and restoration of the land will be completed before the end of September 2018.

Home to endangered species such as Tibetan wild yak and wild ass, the nature reserve was designated a national protected site in 1983, but as the mountains boast an abundance of resources, including gold, a number of mines and construction projects have taken a toll on the environment.

The Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Bayingolin started restoring the environment of several nature reserves in November, such as Altun Mountain National Nature Reserve and Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve.

According to the requirement, they should remove illegal buildings and facilities, and restore land damaged by mining before the end of 2020.

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