Vietnam’s biggest polymetallic project fined for violations

The Nui Phao Mining project – Illustrative photo (Photo:


Hanoi (VNA) – The Nui Phao mining project, Vietnam’s
biggest polymetallic operation, has seriously violated regulations on
environmental protection, mining, and use of land and water resources,
according to the results of an inspection conducted last year by the Ministry
of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE).

The Nui Phao Mine Exploitation and Process
Company Ltd, the project investor, will have to pay a fine of 510 million VND (22,000 USD) for its violations.

The MNRE conducted a 45-day inspection of the Nui
Phao mine, a large polymetallic project located in the northern mountainous
province of Thai Nguyen, after receiving complaints from local residents about
the project’s environmental impact.

Under the investment license granted by Thai Nguyen province, the Nui Phao project was permitted to exploit and process
tungsten, fluorspar, bismuth and copper for 30 years, starting from 2004.

In terms of land use, the company was found to
have taken lands not planned for the project. The company had not processed
land leasing procedures with State agencies and did not use the land according
to the registered purpose. Compensation and resettlement assistance to local
residents dislocated by the project has been slow against the approved

After 13 years of operation, the Nui Phao Company had still not
completed ground clearance and the move of households in areas of high risk of
environmental impact.

The company violated mining exploitation regulations and had not
drawn up plans for restoring the mined land as required in the mining licence.
The inspection activity also found many violations on collecting and processing
industrial waste in reservoirs inside the project’s land.

The company did not install automatic monitoring systems of
waste water and air emissions as per regulations. During the mine exploitation
and process, the factory emitted toxic solvents to environment.

In terms of water resource use, the company dug 120m deep for
underground water without permission.

The MoNRE has ordered Nui Phao Company to stop its violations
and to control air, smell and chemical pollution affecting nearby residential

To solve the negative pollution impact, the company will also
have to take environmental protection measures and submit them to the MoNRE for

The company is also required to present a road map for reducing
its factory operation capacity and ensuring adherence to waste processing and
environment protection demands.

During operation, the company must totally control toxic
substances such as arsenic, cyanide, and beryllium
(alkaline earth metal). Especially, the
company needed to comprehensively study and evaluate beryllium’s impact on the
environment and health of people working in the factory and living nearby.-VNA

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