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Extreme weather affecting titanium exploitation

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The National Institute of Mining – Metallurgy Science amp; Technology (Vilumki) found that climate change has had a significant impact on titanium exploitation, with output predicted to decrease by 30 percent.

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The research team found that the activities of mining and processing titanium sand in the coastal areas from Thanh Hoa to Binh Thuan province are bearing effects from climate change, mostly from storms, floods and droughts, rising sea levels and saline intrusion.

 The temperature rise and prolonged dry season plus increased droughts have made it more difficult and costly to provide water to mining and ore sifting sites. The use of big volume of water has affected the water supply in the region. Works are especially difficult in the red-sand coastal areas such as Bac Binh district of Binh Thuan province and Ninh Phuoc district in Ninh Thuan.

Heavy rains also cause erosion and loss of titanium resources in coastal areas, and increase the possibility of dispersing radioactive substances in waste water from the mining sites to the environment. 

However, these impacts do not occur often and only during the storm and rainy season, from August to December.

Under a scenario of climate change and rising sea levels for the central coastal areas, based on the average emission level, in 2020-2030, the temperature will increase by 0.5-0.8oC, the rainfall may change by 7-8 percent and the sea water level may reach 8 - 12cm. 

The scenario was developed by the Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment.

In the near future, extreme weather and natural calamities will increase in frequency and intensity in the central coastal region.

Vilumki pointed out that titanium exploitation and processing will be one of the industries most seriously affected by climate change, so it is necessary to take initiative in applying solutions to mitigate the effects of the climate change.

Scientists have recommended that local authorities gather strength to organize large-scale exploitation and processing and not carry out exploration and exploitation projects on a small scale.

They also warned about exploiting titanium in the areas most vulnerable to floods due to climate change, including in Binh Dinh and Quang Nam provinces.

Binh Thuan is believed to be the province with the highest titanium ore reserves – 599 million tons, accounting for 92 percent of total titanium reserves in Vietnam. It is expected that the titanium exploration and exploitation will be carried out in 24 areas (20,840 hectares) in the province by 2020.

Local newspapers reported that some titanium miners in Binh Thuan want to reduce the exploitation output because the titanium ore price is on the decrease.



Source: VietNamNet

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