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Binh Thuan plans titanium processing zones   2012-08-06 - SGT

Binh Thuan is drawing up a plan for developing two industrial zones specializing in deep processing of titanium and other minerals for export and supply to local industries, said the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

Specifically, Song Binh Industrial Park will be developed on a 250-hectare area in Bac Binh District, serving deep processing of titanium, zircon, ilmenite and rutin. Meanwhile, Thang Hai Industrial Zone covering 40 hectares in Ham Tan District will supply raw materials to Song Binh Industrial Park.

Tran Van Nhut, director of the Binh Thuan Department of Industry and Trade, told the Daily that 17 titanium processing projects were now waiting to join Song Binh Industrial Park.

They include large-scale projects invested by Russia’s GeoProMining Ltd. worth US$350 million, Binh Minh Import Export Production and Trade Co. (US$650 million), Hanoi Technology Co. (US$620 million), Him Lam Mining Co. (US$130 million), and Hamico Mineral Group.

A 150-square-kilometer area in Bac Binh District, northern Binh Thuan, has a titanium reserve of 141 million tons. It is expected that the nation’s biggest industrial zone for titanium mining and deep processing will go up there in the coming time.

Previously, there were 18 titanium extraction projects located dispersedly along the southern Binh Thuan coast, affecting the environment. Therefore, the province has suspended these projects, planning to relocate them to Thang Hai Industrial Zone for centralized exploitation and processing.

As scheduled, Binh Thuan will be preparing for infrastructure development of the two industrial zones and calling for investment into plant construction from now to 2015. Thereafter, production and processing will officially begin.

“The provincial government has assigned the industry and trade department, the department of natural resources and environment and the department of planning and investment to establish criteria for selecting investors to apply for certificates for investment in Song Binh Industrial Park. If necessary, bidding will be organized to choose capable investors,” said Nhut.

He informed Binh Thuan had just completed the zoning plan for mineral processing, including a mining zone for Binh Thuan, pending approval from the Prime Minister.

From now to the year’s end, the province will submit the plan for development of two titanium processing zones to the Government.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment lately revealed Binh Thuan has total titanium reserves of 599 million tons, or 92% of the national tap reserve.

To prevent titanium extraction from affecting the environment and depleting water resources, Nhut stated exploitation far from residential areas, water resource protection and radiation exposure prevention would be the top criteria for investment.

The government of Binh Thuan Province has not licensed new titanium projects for over a year now, waiting for the zoning plan.

The environment ministry remarked titanium mining and processing exposed multiple shortcomings in recent times, leaving an adverse impact on the environment.

Therefore, in January 2012, the Prime Minister issued Directive 02, calling on localities to tighten control on mineral exploration, exploitation, processing, and export. The Government also requested localities to map out plans for large-scale exploration and mining and centralized processing, ensuring socio-economic efficiency to foster the development of the titanium industry.

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