The Army has moved in to solve the conflict between local villagers and gold mine operators in Loei's Wang Saphung district, while the mine personnel removed their belongings to make way for the mine's 90-day temporary closure.
Colonel Saowarat Saengpol, deputy commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion at the 8th Infantry Regiment (Sri Song Rak Camp in Loei), said yesterday that he was given the job of overseeing the six villages and mine in tambon Khao Luang in order to promote talks and end the problem soon.
This move followed the villagers' request for help from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).
Acknowledging the issue's complexity involving many factors, he said the community and the mine were co-operating with the Army over the past three days, adding the atmosphere was very positive. He said the June 9 search of the mine facilities did not find any illegal items or weapon, so villagers should feel easier. He went on to say that the mine had also asked workers to take their belongings away in order to make way for the mine’s temporary closure. The village leaders also asked to have a look at the mine's mineral storage later yesterday, he added.