Titanium and zircon mining sites in Binh Thuan Province are said to be ruining the landscape of the popular south-central Vietnamese province by creating unsightly impact craters.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has issued mining permits at seven projects in Binh Thuan, covering a combined area of over 2,542 hectares.
All seven of the titanium-zircon mines have had their operations temporarily suspended however, due to their failure to satisfy all of the necessary conditions.
A number of scientists have pointed out major shortcomings in Binh Thuan’s vision for a sustainable titanium-zircon mining industry.
Earlier feasibility reports on the local titanium reserves that painted a bright picture and talked up the “economic power” that the resource would bring have since been called out by experts as “delusional”.
The Binh Thuan People’s Committee has admitted that its planning of titanium mines along the coastline and on high ground could pose local safety and environmental risks.
According to Professor Dang Trung Thuan, an expert from the not-for-profit environmental group PanNature, mining titanium requires deep drilling, which can result in the destruction of environmental balance and losses of water supply – a crucial resource already scarce in Binh Thuan.
Other scientists have pointed out that titanium mining has not only failed to deliver any economic benefit to Binh Thuan over the past few years but has in fact slowed down the province’s socio-economic development.
This has largely been attributed to the illogical and scientifically unfounded planning of titanium mines, turning Binh Thuan into a mining site filled with craters that threaten the local tourism industry.
|A titanium mine in Binh Thuan Province is located close to the ocean, posing environmental risks. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|A titanium mine in Binh Thuan Province is located on high ground, threatening a nearby lifeline route leading to a local residential area and tourist resort. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|A machine in operation at a titanium mine in Binh Thuan Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|Previous reports that Binh Thuan Province was home to titanium reserves amounting to 5.9 million metric tons, valued at US$138 billion, have been called out as “exaggerated”. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|A massive reservoir containing waste from titanium mining activities in Binh Thuan Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|A titanium mine in Binh Thuan Province whose sludge reservoir gave way in 2016, causing an environmental disaster. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|Ongoing constructions to repair the damage of the environmental disaster in 2016 at a titanium mine in Binh Thuan Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|The disaster caused 1.96 hectares of coastline and tourist resorts in Binh Thuan Province to be covered in sludge. The titanium mine was later found to be operating despite failing to meet mining conditions. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|A local points at a large crack on the walls of her house caused by titanium mining activities in Binh Thuan Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|A tourist project in Binh Thuan Province is left unfinished due to the impact of local titanium mines. Photo: Tuoi Tre|