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Curb on licences for titanium exploitation

Update: February, 28/2013 - 07:29

BINH THUAN (VNS) — The central province of Binh Thuan will stop granting investment certificates to new titanium ore exploitation projects outside specific areas, following the zoning plan for titanium extraction approved recently by the Prime Minister.

Under the plan, enterprises in Binh Thuan will only exploit and process titanium in the Luong Son area of Bac Binh District, located in the northern part of the province.

Projects elsewhere that have already received investment licences will be allowed to continue, but no new projects will be developed in other areas, said Nguyen Ngoc, vice chairman of the provincial People's Committee.

Binh Thuan provides 92 per cent of the country's titanium reserves, with approximately 560 million tonnes of the metal, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The province's northern part alone contains 142 million tonnes of titanium.

In the national plan, the province was also urged to export more processed titanium ore, rather than raw titanium as it does currently.

In order to limit exports of raw titanium, the province proposed establishing two industrial zones (IZs) - one 250ha IZ in Bac Binh District and one 40ha IZ in Ham Tan District – where it could process the metal.

Previously, the province scrapped 18 titanium-mining projects due to their negative impacts on the environment.

Titanium is a valuable metal used in more than 30 different industrial sectors including plane manufacturing, aeronautics and producing oil and gas exploitation equipment. — VNS

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