China keeps longing eyes on Vietnam’s minerals

VietNamNet Bridge – Chinese businessmen keep trying every possible means to collect minerals in Vietnam and carry them to China, the country which is thirsty for minerals for economic development.

Chinese enterprises send their workers to Vietnam to explore mineral mines. They bring capital, equipment and technologies to Vietnam. The only thing Vietnamese need to do when signing contracts with them, is to exploit minerals with their machines and sell to them.

In order to compete with domestic buyers, Chinese businessmen would be ready to pay much higher for the minerals. Hundreds of Vietnamese enterprises, encouraged by the high pay, have been exploiting minerals from Vietnam to sell to China.

Colonel Hoang Van Truc, Deputy Head of the Economics Police Department, said that there are too many loopholes which can be exploited by enterprises to export minerals to China to seek profit.

It happens that mine owners have been exploiting more than they are allowed to exploit, keep the excessive mineral output out of books and then exporting the minerals illegally to China.

Local people have been stealing minerals from the mines to sell to the big gangs which then resell to Chinese. Coal has been collected in the open air in Dong Trieu (Quang Ninh province) and Phu Cat (Binh Dinh).

Truc said that the situation has become so serious that local authorities fail to control the export, thus causing the loss of the natural resources and serious environment pollution.

Also according to Truc, the domestic seaways in the northern provinces and northeastern sea have become more bustling with the ships carrying smuggled coal.

The coal, illegally exploited by individuals, and the coal legally exploited by enterprises but later slipped out of the enterprises’ stores, all are carried to the private run ports before they are carried away to China.

Enterprises have been licensed to exploit coal to provide to cement, electricity and fertilizer plants. However, big amounts of exploited coal have not gone to the right addresses, because they have left Vietnam for China.

Not only coal, but manganese, lead, zinc and other kinds of ores have also been sold to China. The ores are carried on trucks or trains to some locations in Vietnam under the domestic trade deals, but then they would be carried away to China across the border, when there are favorable conditions.

There are three biggest sources of minerals supply to China.

A lot of enterprises got the licenses from the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment or local authorities to exploit minerals. However, they do not intend to set up factories to process ores. They would rather sell crude oil to China to earn big money, than making heavy investment in building plants.

The second one is the enterprises which buy minerals from licensed enterprises for illegally exporting to China. The enterprises’ leaders have close direct relations with Chinese bosses.

The third one is the transport enterprises which carry smuggled ores to China themselves.

Le The Chien from the Government Inspection Agency has found a lot of problems in the localities’ licensing mechanism. In many localities, 50 percent of the licenses did not get the approval from the Prime Minister. Local authorities licensed many processing factories which are not listed in the development strategy.

Geology experts have warned that if the current problems cannot be settled, Vietnam would see the mineral exhaust in 40-60 years. Meanwhile, China, the economy with hot development, has been lusting for Vietnam’s minerals and trying every possible means to obtain the minerals.

Pham Huyen