(Yicai Global) June 28 -- Millions of tons of waste from China's largest private steelmaker Shagang Group pose an environmental threat to the country's iconic Yangtze River, an investigation has found.
The Suzhou-based metal giant was found to have dumped some 2.3 million tons of steel slag along the banks of China's longest river, a government-led inspection team said in a statement today.
The investigation found that Shagang, as well as smaller player Yonggang Group, had been placing steel slag less than 800 meters from the river's edge, threatening the safety of the riparian ecosystem.
Shagang produced more than 30 million tons of iron and steel last year and posted turnover in excess of CNY200 billion (USD30 billion).
Authorities first began to look into the steelmaker's environmental practices in July 2016 following tip-offs from whistleblowers. The first round of inspection found chemical sludge landfill activity on the eastern bank of Yangtze-tributary, the Wugan River, located in Jiangsu's Leyu Town near Zhangjiagang. The site also lacked anti-seepage facilities leading to a potential environmental disaster.
The inspection team will conduct further investigations based on laws and regulations.
Editor: William Clegg