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Report says Jinguashi has valuable gold mines

Taipei County region reportedly contains untapped deposits worth over NT$500b

Report says Jinguashi has valuable gold mines

Several international gold mining conglomerates are casting their eye on the mineral deposits in the formerly rich Jinguashi mining area in Taipei County, saying the estimated value of gold mines in the area exceeds NT$500 billion, according to local media reports yesterday.
The reports said that due to the skyrocketing gold price on the international market, several international gold mining conglomerates have been contacting Taiwan since 2002 with the hopes of making a deal on mining projects in the Jinguashi area. The international investors estimate that untapped gold in the area could be worth more than NT$250 billion, and the recent surge in gold prices could push the value to over NT$500 billion.
Asked by reporters to comment on the reports, Chin Hui-chu, a Taipei County official who is responsible for tourism development in Taiwan's largest county, noted that she is opposed to such development as gold mining is likely to bring catastrophic damage to local ecology.
"If the surging gold price on the international market has made international gold mine companies interested in the Jinguashi gold mines and the government thus submits to international investors and re-exploit the area, I do not think such development would be in line with Taiwan's tourism policies. I am not supportive of such development," Chin was quoted as saying by local Chinese-language newspaper China Times.
Chin emphasized that the county government has poured in several billion NT dollars to make the Jinguashi area a more attractive tourist destination, and has successfully attracted many Japanese tourists to the area. She urged the central government to make the right move.
But Taipei County is not the only agency to make decisions regarding mining development. The mining rights for the Jinguashi area belong to the Taiwan Sugar Corporation, and the land is owned National Property Administration under the Ministry of Finance.
Taiwan Sugar Corporation, meanwhile, confirmed that many international investors are courting the company in order to gain access to the potentially valuable minerals. The company said it is optimistic about the development, but because the land belongs to the government, it cannot make decisions on its own and must consult with the central government.
The corporation said it does not rule out the possibility of holding public bidding for the development in the future, adding that the situation will be clearer in the second half of this year.
The gold mining history in Jinguashi area can be traced back to 1890 when construction workers accidentally discovered gold dust in a river in the area. The area was most famous for its gold mining in the 1930s, but the mining industry in the area began to decline in 1971 due to unstable gold price and the deteriorating supply of easily accessible gold from the area.


Updated : 2021-05-13 09:29 GMT+08:00