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Illegal wolfram refinery shut

Update: August, 01/2012 - 09:10

QUANG NINH – An illegally built, US$10 million Wolfram refinery, funded by the Hoang Thai Joint Stock Company, has been closed down in Quang Nghia Commune in northern Quang Ninh Province.

More than 4,000 tonnes of wolfram ore stored at the refinery for processing has been removed from the site. Authorities have demanded that the environment be restored to its original state.

Wolfram, also known as tungsten, is a chemical element used mainly in electrical applications. Its many alloys have numerous applications, most notably in incandescent light bulb filaments and X-ray tubes.

It's reported that the company bought 4.9ha of land from Nguyen Van Phat, a resident in Quang Nghia Commune, in 2011. The land was owned by the city and it was given to Phat to grow trees.

While waiting for approval to build the tungsten plant, the company carried out site clearance and built roads and houses for workers.

When this was discovered, Mong Cai City authorities immediately told the company to stop construction and investment.

The company admitted its mistake and pledged to stop its construction. However the company paid no heed.

City authorities have fined the company VND30 million ($1,400) for its illegal construction. Disciplinary measures will be taken against officials in Quang Nghia Commune, where the plant was being built – and its building inspectors and environmental staff.

The authorities have also revoked Phat's use of the land and fined him VND20 million ($960) for illegal sale of forest land. – VNS

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