BEIJING, Feb 17 (Reuters) - The Zijin Mining Group (2899.HK)(601899.SS), one of China’s biggest gold producers, is being sued for 170 million yuan ($25.8 million) after a tailing dam collapsed and killed 22 people last year, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The local court in the city of Xinyi, where the disaster occurred, said 800 lawsuits had already been filed by residents and claims against the company could eventually amount to 300 million yuan, Xinhua said.
A total of 523 homes were destroyed in Xinyi in the southeastern province of Guangdong in September last year after the tailing dam at a tin mine collapsed under the onslaught of a typhoon.
A government investigation into the disaster in December placed the blame firmly on the company, which was accused of breaching dam construction regulations.
The company was also fined $1.4 million in October last year after 9,000 tonnes of toxic waste water from one of its gold mines seeped into a river in Fujian on China’s southeast coast
Hong Kong and Shanghai-listed Zijin Mining said last month its net profit for 2010 was likely to rise by as much as 40 percent because of price increases as well as higher copper and zinc output over the year. (Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=6.588 Yuan)