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Titanium miners in Binh Thuan ignore safety measures

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Four small-scale titanium processing projects in Binh Thuan have caused serious damage to the land. 

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Binh Thuan has an estimated titanium reserves of 599 million tons 

 

Binh Thuan has an estimated titanium reserves of 599 million tons, which amounts to 92 percent of the country’s total reserves. 

The exploration and mining has been carried out on an area of 19,000 hectares, while another 83,000 hectares belong to the national titanium reserve area.

The General Directorate of Environment, which recently took an inspection tour to mining sites, discovered many problems.

Long Son – Suoi Nuoc area of Mui Ne ward in Phan Thiet city is where the titanium – zircon sorting project is running. 

Inspectors discovered that there were not bottom lining layers at all the waste dumps to help collect and treat waste water. As a result, the waste water absorbed into the earth and underground water.

Phu Hiep Company, a miner, was found building an ore sorting workshop in an area of 2 hectares without an environmental report approved by appropriate agencies. 

The company didn’t have a license to exploit underground water and did not have standard titanium storehouses.

Duc Canh Company, another miner, had the license to exploit titanium ore in an area of 64.5 hectares in Hoa Thang commune of Bac Binh district for 14.5 years. 

The exploitation had been implemented in an area of 10 hectares when many violations in exploitation design were discovered. The company was also found exploiting ore on an area of 1,500 square meters outside the projected area.

Meanwhile, the Sai Gon Investment Company was found exploiting titanium in Long Son area of Mui Ne City when it did not have a license to use water sources, and did not pay for exploitation rights, and natural resource tax. 

Tan Quang Cuong Company, which is exploiting titanium at Nam Suoi Nhum mine in Ham Thuan Nam, did not have a license to exploit and use surface water.

The Binh Thuan provincial authorities in late August 2018 decided that Sai Gon, Duc Canh and Phu Hiep Companies had to halt exploitation activities for 90 days to fix problems. 

Meanwhile, Tan Quang Cuong was told not to implement any activities until the violations are settled.

When reporters returned to the titanium mines which were forced to halt operation, they saw local people who needed water. 

Locals in Long Son – Suoi Nuoc area said since Phu Hiep Company began the mining project, the underground water has become muddy and unusable. 

TVN in Hoa Thang commune complained that his orchard has withered because of  polluted water. 

Meanwhile, the sand dunes in coastal areas with green trees have turned into deep holes.

 

Source: VNN

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