Authorities in the south-central province of Quang Nam have ordered a Canadian gold producer to deal with 60 tons of counterfeit cyanide it bought from a Chinese chemical company.
The Besra Gold Inc., which operates two gold mines (Phuoc Son and Bong Mieu) in Quang Nam, bought the cyanide for US$12,720 from the Tianjin Haina Tianyi Chemical firm in late 2011.
Cyanide is mainly used for mining gold and silver.
When the batch arrived, Besra found that it was all fake.
The company tried to contact the Chinese partner but all of their efforts went unanswered.
Last month, an inspection team from the Quang Nam Department of Industry and Trade and other agencies visited the Phuoc Son and Bong Mieu gold mines and discovered the 40 tons of fake powdered cyanide languishing at the warehouse of Phuoc Son and 20 tons in Bong Mieu.
The cyanide batches were stored in containers.
Besra asked the local government to allow it to dump the counterfeit cyanide in a nearby landfill, but the request was not accepted because the local government said the company was unable to treat hazardous chemicals.
The Quang Nam People’s Committee ordered the Phuoc Son and Bong Mieu gold mines to assign people to guard the cyanide containers in their warehouses and Besra to offer options for the safe destruction of the counterfeit chemicals.