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China: Around The Nation

Quarry that supplied imperial palace in Beijing shut down

Use of heavy machinery and damage to local water supplies caused massive environmental damage in the area, according to newspaper report

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 September, 2017, 12:13pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 September, 2017, 12:13pm

A quarry that formerly supplied marble to the imperial palace in the centre of Beijing has been shut down because of the massive damage it was causing to the environment, according to a newspaper report.

Operations have been halted at the site in Fangshan, a district to the southwest of the capital, the Beijing Daily reported.

One villager was quoted as saying that miners had started using heavy machinery at the site in recent years, massively increasing the amount of damage caused.

The quarry work had also disrupted villagers’ water supplies because of wells bored into the mountainside.

There used to be five natural springs in the village, according to one villager. “Their endless spouts of water were cool in summer and warm in winter. I caught fish in them when I was a kid,” he was quoted as saying.

Farmers in the area had also complained that they could not sleep at night because of the noise of heavy machinery.

‘Bureaucracy hindering efforts to maintain Forbidden City’

The quarry in Gaozhuang village has been worked for more than 2,000 years, the newspaper said.

It produced some of the white marble used in imperial architecture such as the Forbidden City, the imperial palace in the centre of Beijing. The stone was also used at the Summer Palace and in the Ming tombs near the capital.

Villagers were quoted as saying that the quarry machinery had caused more damage in a few years than picks and shovels in hundreds of years.

The local government plans to turn the quarry into a theme park, the article said.