Bong Mieu gold mine: investor flees, leaving unpaid debt

VietNamNet Bridge - After exploiting tons of gold, the foreign investor in the Bong Mieu mine has fled without rehabilitating the site as required, leaving unpaid debts worth trillions of dong.


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The mining site



The General Department of Geology and Minerals on March 5 held a working session with the Quang Nam authorities to discuss the closure of the Bong Mieu gold mine in Phu Ninh district.

The local authorities wanted to close the mine as soon as possible. However, the plan could not be implemented because of the lack of money.

An official said the closure plan will cost nearly VND20 billion. 

Bong Mieu Company, the miner, paid only VND6.4 billion to the environmental rehabilitation fund. As the company has filed for bankruptcy, the province still needs VND13 billion more to shut the mine and terminate the project. 

Prior to that, the Ministry of  Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) requested Quang Nam to allocate the 2019 local budget for the mine closure plan. 

However, the provincial authorities requested MONRE to report the case to the government and seek central budget for the closure. Under the Minerals Law, the agency that approves mining projects will be the major investor of the projects.

According to the Quang Nam Taxation Sub-department, the agency cannot collect the debt worth VND108 billion incurred by Bong Mieu Company. More than 100 creditors of Bong Mieu believe that they will not collect VND800 billion from the debtor. 

Bong Mieu went bankrupt and the investor has left, but its disastrous consequences still exist.

According to deputy chair of Phu Ninh district Nguyen Dao, if money had been disbursed soon, the mining site rehabilitation would have been implemented in 2016.

However, nothing has been done. Forestland is in a state of desolation after land was excavated for the mining, while pits will collapse at any time. 

Locals usually enter the areas to glean gold dust. The illegal exploitation has poisoned the rivers and streams, while the local authorities remain powerless.

According to the Quang Nam Taxation Sub-department, the agency cannot collect the debt worth VND108 billion incurred by Bong Mieu Company. More than 100 creditors of Bong Mieu believe that they will not collect VND800 billion from the debtor. 

The assets left at Bonh Mieu Company are valued at VND34.8 billion only, and are associated with land in the mining area, which means they will be valuable only if they continue serving gold mining. If the assets are liquidated, the money to be collected will be insignificant.

High expectation, big disappointment

In 1992, Olympus Pacific Minerals Vietnam, which later changed to Besra Vietnam, received permission to join forces with two Vietnamese companies to explore the Bong Mieu gold mine. 

The project had total registered capital of $40 million, which promised high economic benefits. However, after exploiting 6.9 tons of gold worth VND5 trillion, the miner fled.


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Nam Mai

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