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Ninh Thuan to halt titanium exploitation to protect environment

13 September 2018 | 10:41:00 AM

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued the decision to halt all titanium mining activities in Ninh Thuan Province which is one of the provinces that has the largest titanium reserves in Vietnam.


A titanium mine in Binh Thuan Province

The decision was issued after the resolution on the implementation of a number of specific mechanisms and policies to support socio-economic development in Ninh Thuan was approved. Instead of continuing exploiting titanium, Ninh Thuan will aim to be Vietnam's renewable energy centre.

Titanium mining activities were licensed in 2013. Ninh Thuan has about 4,345 hectares of titanium, mostly in Thuan Nam and Ninh Phuoc districts. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has licensed two projects. One is for Saigon Mineral Company to exploit a 1,132-hectare land in Ninh Phuoc and another is for Vinaminco Company to exploit a 1,033-hectare land in Thuan Nam. However, Vinacomin hasn't even started ground clearance task yet while Saigon Mineral Company stopped all operations in September 2014, after working on two hectares.

In the report to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ninh Thuan People's Committee wrote that both projects used outdated technology and needed a huge amount of water which was not suitable to Ninh Thuan’s dry climate. Moreover, the reports about impacts on the environment lack many details. Since the projects would last for 30 years, they would badly affect the land planning.

The locals also oppose those types of projects because of pollution. Before Vinacomin was given mining license in Thuan Nam, in March 2014, hundreds of people gathered to protest after Quang Thuan Company was licensed to exploit titanium on 90 hectares of land where a nuclear power plant will be built. The project was later scrapped.

Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan are two provinces have the highest titanium reserves in the country at an estimated of 600 million tonnes. The authorities in Binh Thuan Province are facing serious threats from the red mud reservoirs of various companies and had to halt all mining activities in 90 days. The police and Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Binh Thuan were asked to inspect, monitor and deal with violating companies.

Workers at the titanium mines of Phu Hiep Company have already returned to their hometowns or found another job. In the end, Binh Thuan was left with the huge pits and holes.

The provincial authorities were firm in dealing with the violations. Ngo Minh Chinh, director of Binh Thuan Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said, "Titanium mining has seriously affected the environment and the tourism which is the province's spear-head sector."

Source: nguoilaodong,

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