Viet Nam News
BÌNH THUẬN — Bình Thuận Province People’s Committee has proposed to the Government a plan to adjust exploration and exploitation of titanium in the locality.
Hồ Lâm, director of Bình Thuận Province’s Department of Natural Resource and Environment, said the province has the largest titanium reserves in Việt Nam, accounting for 92 per cent. There are eight unlicensed exploration areas of 7,344ha, 10 licensed exploration areas of 9,644ha and eight exploitation areas of 2,542ha.
The total area of exploration and exploitation by 2020 will reach 20,843ha. However, according to Lâm, titanium exploring and mining areas are overlapping with 33 other projects of tourism, industry and forestry, which require adjustment for balanced economic development.
Titanium exploitation projects are located mostly in coastal areas and can cause environmental incidents during operation. Moreover, essential groundwater resources are easily polluted by mining activities.
“The more titanium projects are approved, the fewer water sources remain,” Lâm said.
In its proposal, the provincial People’s Committee said local titanium exploration and exploitation had not received enough attention from the Government. For example, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has not invested in water reservoirs, the Ministry of Transport has not planned a harbour for processing and exporting activities, and the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Industry and Trade have not conducted research on environment-friendly exploiting technologies.
In July, at a conference held by Bình Thuận Province People’s Committee and Việt Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations in Phan Thiết City, scientists agreed that expanding titanium exploitation in Bình Thuận Province was impossible. Moreover, it threatened to disperse radioactive material, cause pollution and destroy groundwater resources. Mining activities also affect other provinces, and not just Bình Thuận, they concluded.
Therefore, the local authority proposed to reduce explotation areas, by some 10,000ha, for mineral reserves and the development of other economic projects.
“We have depended heavily on China for consuming raw and processed titanium. Meanwhile, titanium price is decreasing. Therefore, some titanium expoiting companies in Bình Thuận Province have had to reduce the capacity of exploitation and asked for extending exploitation time. This will directly affect other economic sectors of the province,” Lâm added. — VNS