A blow against illegal mining

Colombian Army soldiers descend from a Black Hawk helicopter during an operation against illegal gold mining along the Timbiqui River last Tuesday, in a rural area of Timbiqui, Department of Cauca.

In a joint operation of the Colombian Armed Forces, two people were captured and 26 excavators and two dredges were destroyed, according to statements from the National Liberation Army and other armed rebel groups.

It was calculated that about 18kg of gold was extracted daily, with 1kg worth approximately US$38,000 (S$51,000).

Illegal mining activities take place mostly in areas of environmental conservation and are known to cause pollution to ecosystems, loss of animal habitats and displacement of native communities.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2016, with the headline 'A blow against illegal mining'. Print Edition | Subscribe