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145-men fight between Chinese and Kazakh miners in Kazakhstan, 65 injured

To those Kazakh men who follow

Aktogay mine located in eastern Kazakhstan about 250 km away from the Kazakh-Chinese border is the second largest project developed by KAZ Minerals PLC, Kazakhstan's London-listed copper company created after restructuring of Kazakhstan's largest copper producer Kazakhmys back in 2014. KAZ Minerals focuses on large scale and low cost open pit mining.

The Aktogay mine project includes an open-pit mine and a concentrator that will produce copper cathode from oxide ore and copper concentrate from sulphide ore that also contains some valuable molybdenum as a by-product.

According to the police, the fight started in a canteen with one of the Chinese workers complaining to the canteen employees about a poor quality meal and small portions.

The canteen employees explaining to the Chinese worker that the size of the portions was strictly regulated and the amount of food the canteen had was calculated based on the total number of workers of the enterprise and therefore, they could not offer second helpings.

Then, according to the police, Chinese workers began loudly expressing their dissatisfaction ignoring the efforts of their supervisor - also a Chinese - to calm them down. Security staff that was in the canteen tried to resolve the incident and walked the complaining workers out of the canteen. However, the Chinese workers used force against the security personnel and targeted the canteen's cook. A large fight involving over one hundred men erupted.

Police crews that arrived at the site at 1.15 p.m. stop the fight. The company confirmed the incident the same day.

"As a result, 31 workers were injured, including 1 guard and 21 Chinese nationals. They were taken to the hospitals of Ayagoz town and Ust-Kamenogorsk city, ” the press office of the region's Internal Affairs Department said on June 8.

A pre-trial investigation was initiated under the article 255 of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan - Hooliganism.

Additional forces of Kazakhstan’s Interior Ministry were dispatched to the site to ensure that no follow-up fights erupt. “Currently, the situation is stable and under control. All the statutory actions are being carried out, ” the Department said.

In addition, the quality of services the canteen provides to the workers is being checked.

The region’s Governor Danial Akhmetov, regional prosecutor and head of the region's Internal Affairs Department visited the site and had a meeting on the incident with representatives of the company and relevant local authorities. They spoke to the workers and confirmed that the conflict was settled. "The workers have returned to their jobs, " the Department's press office said.

The region’s Governor Danial Akhmetov also ordered creation of a commission to investigate the incident at Aktogay mine operated by KAZ Minerals and find out all the details of the conflict.

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