Titanium mining put on hold

13-Sep-2018 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan, the two largest titanium-rich provinces by volume, have decided to stop the rampant exploitation of titanium out of concern that this activity will leave a negative impact on the environment and the tourism sector, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.

The government has issued a resolution on special mechanisms and policies to support Ninh Thuan Province’s socioeconomic growth until 2023. The prime minister has decided to put titanium mining projects in the province on hold to develop the province into a renewable energy hub for the nation.

Ninh Thuan Province has 4,345 hectares of titanium-rich land, mainly in the Thuan Nam and Ninh Phuoc districts. Two titanium mining projects approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment are owned by Saigon Mineral JSC and Vinaminco Ninh Thuan JSC. The Ninh Thuan government, however, revealed that Vinaminco has yet to conduct any site clearance activities, while Saigon Mineral Company stopped its exploitation operations in September 2014.

The provincial government has written to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment stressing that the two projects failed to operate smoothly because of outdated technology and the overuse of water for filtration.

The letter also pointed out the negative influence of titanium mining on the environment and soil in the coming period.

Residents living near the facilities of the two projects in Ninh Thuan Province voiced their objection to the mining activity based on environmental concerns. At end-March 2014, hundreds of people had gathered and protested against Quang Thuan Company, which was licensed by the Ninh Thuan government for titanium exploitation, causing a serious lapse in security.

In response to the protest, provincial leaders decided to halt the project’s operations. However, after the project ended, the province continued to license Vinaminco Co. to exploit the natural resource, but the company has yet to act on this license.

Le Huyen, Chair of Thuan Nam District of the province, said it is appropriate and necessary to stop all titanium projects.

Besides Ninh Thuan Province, Binh Thuan has an estimated titanium reserve of 600 million tonnes.

To address the negative impact of titanium mining on the environment, the provincial government has required investors to suspend all mining activities within 90 days to resolve violations involving illegal mining.

Titanium mines including the Long Son-Suoi Nuoc in Phan Thiet City, Thien Ai in Bac Binh District and Thuan Quy in Ham Thuan Nam District have halted operations.

Le Van Long, Chair of Bac Binh District, confirmed that titanium exploitation across the district had ended.

The Binh Thuan government has asked Tan Quang Cuong Co., the investor in the Thuan Quy mine, to maintain the status quo of the mine after receiving complaints from residents that mining activities had resumed.

Ngo Minh Chinh, director of the Binh Thuan Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, agreed that titanium mining negatively affects the environment and the tourism sector, which is considered the province’s spearhead industry. As such, it is necessary to stop titanium mining activities to preserve the environment and further develop the tourism sector.



Category: Economy, Vietnam

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