Lhundrub County is located in the Phenpo Valley, around 65 km northeast of Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. The Nyenchen Tanglha mountains pass through the county, as does the Lhasa River. The area is agricultural and contains around one third of the prefecture’s cultivated land. The main crops are barley, wheat, rapeseed and vegetables. The county also has mineral resources, including lead, zinc, barite, coal and gypsum, and two hydropower stations. Lhundrub County has been the scene of Chinese mining operations since 1998.  The Chinese government had started preparations for its mining project named “Phondo Chubey Gaktsel” in the area with promises of job creation and generating income for the local Tibetan population.  A Tibetan exile source said “However, the mining officials did not fulfill their promises, and instead caused environmental destruction and harm to livestock by blasts and explosions on a large scale”.  In 2009 the Chinese government also started damming the Yarlung Tsangpo in Lhundrub County, the source of the Brahmaputra River. Local residents were told that the dam would bring benefits to the local community. Instead, the dam is causing damage to the local environment. In fact local Tibetans also suspect that mining will take place once the river is contained. . In 2009, the authorities forcefully removed 119 Tibetan homes from the vicinity of the mining site, an area which is now said to be under water. Promised support for the transition did not materialize and many Tibetans found it difficult, especially those who were previously farmers or nomads.  After appeals to the local government to halt the mining operations went unheeded, on April 2011 residents took to the streets in protest against the mining operation which had already caused enough damage to the local Tibetans.  The authorities told the opponents they would be arrested and charged with political crimes.  Consequently many people were beaten by the security forces during the protest and six Tibetans were subsequently arrested in the same month.  On August 2014, three years after their arrest, six Tibetans have been confirmed to be in Drapchi prison, Lhasa. Kunga and Pema were both sentenced to 12 years, Ngawang Yeshi, Choeyang Woser and Penpa Gyalpo to 11 years and Pema Gyalpo to 8 years.  On 2014, Zhang Qingli, then secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Regional (TAR) Committee of the Communist Party (CCP) of China, had said that the Chinese government would explore Tibet's minerals in a “justified and intensive way” in the coming five years.