Dec. 30 (Vancouver Media Co-op): In 2006, only one-percent of discovered mines in Tibet were prospected due to limited infrastructure and investment. But mining operations boomed after the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, which connects all 72 counties in Tibet to the rest of China. There are now over 90 mining sites, with at least one in each county.
The Chinese government announced plans in March to develop Tibet by exploiting over 3,000 mineral reserves, potentially worth more than USD 125 billion. The plan aims to boost the mining industry’s contribution to Tibet’s GDP from three to 30 percent by 2020.
“There has been damage to both the environment and the lifestyles of Tibetan villagers, farmers and nomads,” Tibetan poet/blogger Woeser said. “Now there are diseases that are new and untreatable for the villagers. The livestock, like lamb and cows, are also getting diseases and dying at alarming rates.”
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