Quota imposition and processing constraints ignite titanium smuggling on the sea

Jul 31, 2017 | 06:18 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERThe status of titanium exploitation and smuggling in the central provinces is still complicated, causing waste of natural resources and environmental pollution.

Quota imposition and processing constraints ignite titanium smuggling on the sea
VMP seized a ship transporting titanium ore with unclear origin to China. Photo: Internet

On July 5, at the Ky Ha port in Quang Nam province, Dat Quang - Chu Lai Mineral Joint- Stock Company (DQCL) filled out customs declaration to export more than 4,000 tons of titanium ore to China. The cargo was unloaded onto Panama’s ship named Dong Shun. The Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department has taken ore samples for testing. The test results showed that TI02 content is very low, which does not meet the export standards in compliance with regulations of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Nguyen Thuong Dat - Chairman of Board of Directors of DQCL admitted that no titanium ore was available in DQCL’s warehouse; therefore, DQCL purchased titanium ore with unclear origin on the market for overseas export. Thanks to quota, DQCL has recently exported 6,000 tons of titanium ore to China. The purchase of raw titanium ore with unclear origin for overseas export is breaking Vietnamese Government’s regulations.

Thus, Border-gate Customs Sub-department of Ky Ha Port has cleared at least DQCL’s 2 lots of raw titanium with unclear origin to overseas.

Recently, on the coast of Quang Binh province, Viet Nam Marine Police (VMP) has also seized a ship transporting over 3,000 tons of titanium ore with unclear origin from Quy Nhon port to China.

Previously, VMP succeeded in the specialized investigation of smuggling of 70,000 tons of titanium ore in the port of Quy Nhon led by Le Van Chien, former officer of Binh Dinh Provincial Customs Department.

The main reason for current serious smuggling of titanium ore is the limited processing capability of the local enterprises. There are so many enterprises granted license on titanium exploitation, few of them, however, makes investments in capital to develop mineral processing technology. Currently, there are only three plants capable of processing deeply high quality products such as zircon powder, titanium slag, reverted ilmenite,... It means that little quantity of exploited titanium ore volume will be deeply processed, increasing the smuggling of titanium ore.

The inconsistent and ineffective coordination among anti-smuggling agencies has also increased the illegal exploitation and smuggling of titanium ore. In addition, there is lack of strict and specific sanctions for violations of mineral business.