Titanium mining upsets tourism, wind power projects

VietNamNet Bridge – Hundreds of tourism and wind power projects in Binh Thuan Province are now frozen because beneath the areas for development of these projects are titanium awaiting extraction.

Binh Thuan, titanium mining, industrial-scale mining, build luxury resorts
Hundreds of tourism and wind power projects in Binh Thuan Province are now frozen. (llustrative image – Source: Internet)

In 2008, after discovering a huge titanium reserve of hundreds of millions of tons, Binh Thuan faced a dilemma, wondering if it should continue to build luxury resorts to promote tourism or switch to titanium mining. So far, the province still has not found an effective solution to the deadlock.

Nguyen Manh Hung, deputy secretary of Binh Thuan’s Party Committee, said the province would report to the Politburo on the fact that several tourism and wind power projects cannot get off the ground while pending a zoning plan for titanium extraction from the Government.

“Binh Thuan has identified a 1,250-square-kilometer zone of titanium, including a 700-square-kilometer area available for industrial-scale mining. This zone overlaps the areas for development of many other projects,” he said.

Hung added that the province had given investment certificates to over 100 tourism projects and some 12 wind power projects, but they are now frozen for lying in the areas with titanium reserve.

Under the Mineral Law, underground titanium must be fully exploited before any architectural structure can be developed.

Binh Thuan has petitioned the Prime Minister to early approve and announce the zoning plan for titanium extraction in the province. If there were titanium areas that would not be exploited until 50 or 100 years later, then the tourism and wind power projects in these areas should be allowed to get going, the province suggested.

Binh Thuan has asked owners of the projects that have been licensed but are still in the stage of preparation to delay commencement. Meanwhile, the province permits the ongoing projects to continue and will handle them after the zoning plan for titanium mining is released.

Binh Thuan has an estimated titanium reserve of 520 million tons, while only 17 million tons is consumed every year all over the world. If Vietnam successfully joined the global titanium market, the country would supply around one million tons per year, said Hung.

Therefore, it is necessary to have a zoning plan for titanium extraction, so that owners of other projects will know what to do while waiting for titanium to be exploited, he said.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Linh Ngoc said the draft zoning plan for titanium mining in Binh Thuan Province had been put up for comments by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, but it had yet to be passed by the Government.

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