Police Detain Zijin Mining Official as `Suspect' in Probe of Toxic Spill

Zijin Mining Group Co., blamed for the industry’s worst waste leakage in China in two years, said company Vice President Chen Jiahong was detained yesterday by the police.

Chen, formerly head of the Zijinshan gold and copper mines in Fujian province, was held as a suspect in relation to “the major pollution incident,” according to a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange today.

China’s biggest gold producer was forced to shut its copper plant at Zijinshan this month after acid-laced waste spilled from the site, poisoning a river. The company said yesterday that it had also agreed to limit production at a gold mine in the area to reduce environmental risks.

Zijin rose 3 percent to close at HK$5.14 in Hong Kong today, before the statement. The stock gained 2.5 percent to 5.86 yuan in Shanghai.

The company said it received a notice today saying that Chen had been detained.

--Judy Chen. Editors: Paul Panckhurst.

To contact the reporter on this story: Judy Chen in Shanghai at xchen45@bloomberg.net

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