The ore exploitation considered beneficial to economic growth can actually stifle it
Authorities in a coastal region of south-central Vietnam have said that the planned areas for extracting a type of metal called titanium are posing a number of problems for local development.
The People’s Committee in Binh Thuan Province highlighted this point in a report on the exploitation of titanium by 2020, in which it proposed modifying the planning of areas designated for the activity.
The problem stems from the fact that 26 sites of titanium extraction overlap 46 sites meant for other projects like tourism, forestation and industrial zone construction.
The total common area is around 3,394 hectares, with the planned titanium exploitation spanning 19,527 hectares.
This gives rise to a delay in the implementation of the non-mining projects.
The postponement is further compounded when licenses of titanium exploitation usually stay valid for over ten years, after which they also have a chance to be renewed if the metal is still left at the site.
Difficulties in other aspects have likewise emerged, the report pointed out.
Local people living near mining sites have suffered from many cases of environmental pollution caused by discharged wastewater in the places, which are mostly along beaches and at a higher elevation than residential areas.
Even the titanium extracting sites are themselves encountering a hindrance - water shortage, as with no accessible rivers at hand, they have to use underground water while its supply is only sufficient for some essential activities and everyday use.
The report said that most projects for provincial economic and social development are hampered as the total planned areas for titanium extraction and reserves are extensively 102,227 hectares.
The domestic demand for titanium accounts for a small proportion of the quantity of the metal produced, and the lion’s share has been exported to China, Vietnam’s major titanium market. But the export has decreased in recent times.
Titanium can find application in laptops, golf clubs, bone joint replacement, tooth implant, and most widely in paint as a pigment.