Mineral Alliance opposes iron mining at Thach Khe
VietNamNet Bridge - The Mineral Alliance has asked the Communist Party’s leaders, National Assembly, the government and relevant ministries to stop the exploitation at Thach Khe mine and shut it down.


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Mineral Alliance opposes mining at Thach Khe



Thach Khe mine, with reserves of 544 million tons, located in six communes of Thach Ha district in Ha Tinh province, is considered the largest iron mine in Southeast Asia. 

In 2009, Thach Khe Iron Corporation (TIC) was established and began open-cast mining. However, in 2011, the mining was halted under a request by the government. 

TIC has asked the government for permission to resume exploitation at Thach Khe. However, the proposal has faced more opposition than support.

The Mineral Alliance, in its document, affirmed that mining at Thach Khe not only was against legal and scientific principles, but also faces economic, social and environmental risks.

If the exploitation is carried out with the capacity of 8-10 million tons per annum, this would cause a big waste if Vietnam’s steel manufacturing technology remains outdated, not creating high-value products. 

If miners export iron ore, it will violate the Vietnam Mineral Industry Development Strategy which calls for domestic use only.

If the exploitation is carried out with the capacity of 8-10 million tons per annum, this would cause a big waste if Vietnam’s steel manufacturing technology remains outdated, not creating high-value products. If miners export iron ore, it will violate the Vietnam Mineral Industry Development Strategy which calls for domestic use only.

The Mineral Alliance and scientists from the Hanoi National University, the Hanoi University of Mining and Geology, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) all affirmed that there are economic, social and environmental risks.

Warning about an ‘environment disaster’, scientists estimate that 171,890,000 cubic meters of waste would be discharged into the sea. 

The investor plans to build embankments to enclose the waste, but scientists doubt the embankments could resist the north-south sea current and tropical typhoons.

If the dumping ground breaks down and the waste spills over into the sea, Vietnam will see a second Formosa disaster at Ha Tinh and neighboring waters.

A report found that in 2009-2011, TIC uncovered a thick layer of earth and threw 12.7 million cubic meter of waste into the northern dumping area, creating a hill covering 125 hectares and 50 meters long

Scientists have also warned of the saline intrusion in the Thach Ha coastal area and the desertification in coastal sand dune areas.

To date, the fate of Thach Khe mine remains unclear. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said at a press conference on January 18 that the government has assigned the investment and planning ministry to consider the mining and report to the government before the latter consults with the Party Politburo.


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Nam Mai

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