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Miners’ violations cause loss of taxes, natural resources

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Can the Mineral Law protect natural resources?

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On July 19, 2016, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) told the Bong Mieu Gold Mining Company to stop all activities and close the mine after wrongdoings were found.

The government said Bong Mieu has not submitted to the National Mineral Reserves Assessment Council a report on reserves exploration and has not reimbursed the state for expenses spent on geological investigation at Bong Mieu mines. 

Since May 2012, the company has been slow in paying natural resource tax, environment protection fee, personal income tax and contractor tax.

Luong Dinh Duong, vice director of the Quang Nam Taxation Agency, said his agency was following coercive steps to collect VND107 billion in tax arrears from Bong Mieu. However, as the mine has been closed, involved parties will have to obey the judgement to be made by the court.

MONRE pointed out that Quang Nam is one of the ‘hot spots’ in illegal gold mining, which not only has led to the loss of the nation’s minerals, but also caused the loss of people’s land for production. The activities have caused deforestation and pollution due to the use of chemicals to separate gold ore. 

According to MONRE’s Deputy Minister Nguyen Linh Ngoc, illegal gold exploitation continues with new illegal mining sites in the Bong Mieu’s mining suspended area. 

Some illegal mining sites were cleared, but they have resumed. Some miners still have not fulfilled obligations in closing the mines as stipulated by the law, and still maintain labor force, machines and exploitation instruments in the areas.

Huynh Khanh Toan, deputy chair of Quang Nam province, said that mineral resources in Quang Nam are located in many different areas, making it difficult for the appropriate agencies to supervise the exploitation activities. 

Many measures have been applied, including the launch of a hot line at 0913.480.369 to receive reports about illegal mining and the violations of the Mineral Law. However, this is a stinging issue.

One year ago, when assessing the mineral exploitation, the General Department of Geology and Minerals of Vietnam reported that the number of provinces/cities with illegal mining activities decreased from 47 in 2012 to 40 in 2015, while number of minerals illegally exploited decreased from 27 to 10.

However, the department pointed out that the mining activities in many localities are more complex, causing loss of resources, pollution and potential danger to human life. The provinces have not dealt with violators and the heads of local authorities with a heavy hand. 


Source: VietNamNet