|Coal, which is illegally siphoned off from Khánh Hoà Coal Mine in south central Khánh Hoà Province's Sơn Cẩm Commune, is gathered for consumption. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The General Department of Geology and Minerals of Việt Nam under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has asked key coal enterprises to supervise the management and use of charcoal and other kinds of minerals discharged from mining areas.
The Việt Nam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) and the Northeast Corporation have been told to report on the amount of low-quality charcoal that is being stored or stolen.
The amount of charcoal in these areas was not mentioned in output reports as required under mining licenses.
The two enterprises had been instructed to report the amount of charcoal consumed and the implementation of financial obligations to the State.
The reports must be sent to the department before April 15.
Coal mining activities of the two enterprises had been licensed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
The move was made after the Vietnam News Agency’s online newspaper Vietnamplus reported about the theft of charcoal at key coal mines across the country.
In coal mines in northern Thái Nguyên Province and southern Khánh Hoà Province, local people were reportedly hired to steal charcoal with the support of workers.
Each day, up to a dozen tonnes of charcoal was picked up for VNĐ1.6-1.8 million (US$68.8-77.4) per tonne, causing a big loss to the State budget and a shortage of materials for the power sector.
According to a 2018 Vinacomin report, at least four millions of tonnes of commercial coal were stolen from the group's mines last year.
Lại Hồng Thanh, deputy head of the group, said enterprises needed to ask the ministry for permission if they wanted to sell or consume charcoal and other kinds of minerals.
Thanh also said that if violations occurred at licensed mines, the ministry would fine enterprises. — VNS