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Talk between gold-mining firm, villagers fails

The yesterday's mediation session has failed to resolve conflict between a Loei-based gold-mining firm and locals opposing its operation.

The two sides pushed for their demands, which did not receive any positive response from the other side, throughout the 9pm-to-noon session at the Loei Provincial Court.

The mediation took place after the firm, Tungkum, filed a Bt150 million lawsuit against six villagers. It also lodged criminal complaints against the locals who disrupted its operation by blocking trucks from going into and out of the gold mine.

"We want the gold mine closed and our local environment rehabilitated," Suraphan Rujichaiwat said yesterday as a representative of the locals, "But the firm has insisted it will bring all ores out before it closes down the mine".

The gold mine is located in Ban Na Nong Bong, tambon Khao Luang, Wang Sa Phung district, Loei province.

Its operation has drawn strong local opposition, as local residents feel the gold mine has taken its tolls on their health and their environment.

Their conflict escalated last month, after more than 100 robust men raided into the local village, beating up and detaining some residents. While the men were there, trucks left the firm's compound with ores.




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