Shortcomings in zoning plan
In accordance with the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 1546/QD-TTg, dated September 03, 2013, approving the zoning plan for exploration, exploitation, processing and use of titanium ore until 2020, with orientation to 2030, there are 25 zones with the total area of 19,339ha under titanium zoning plan in Binh Thuan province.
This plan overlaps 33 approved investment projects on socio-economic development with a total area of 4,576ha.
“However, these projects have not been implemented because until now, the handover of land to investment projects after completed exploitation of titanium has not been yet specified for the time. This bothers the investors and hinders economic and social development,” specified an assessment report released by the Authority.
Environmental protection is given the top priority
According to the Authority’s report on “overview of natural and socio-economic conditions and issues in the sustainable development of Binh Thuan province”, environmental protection is given to the top priority in case of consideration of investment projects. Binh Thuan province (the province) will reject projects with environmentally unfriendly and obsolete equipment and technologies.
At the same time, the province is also implementing measures to limit and prevent environmental pollution, especially at mining sites (titanium mine, quarry...)
The province expresses its view that exploitation of titanium ore must be consistent with the processing capacity and use and satisfy the environmental requirements as instructed in the Prime Minister’s Directive No. 03/CT-TTg dated March 30, 2015 strengthening the enforcement of policies and laws on minerals.
Proposal for amendments to the zoning plan
According to the Authority, most of the exploration and exploitation projects of titanium ore stated in the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 1546/QD-TTg are located along the coast and higher than surrounding projects and residential areas. Therefore, it is difficult to provide water for exploitation activities.
Binh Thuan is one of the aridest provinces in the country. Surface water and underground are scarce. While titanium exploitation activities require the huge amount of fresh water, the amount of fresh water is only enough to serve the residents’ daily living needs and cultivation.
Therefore, for sustainable exploitation of mineral resources, the Authority has proposed some solutions.
It is necessary to review and adjust the zoning plan for exploration, exploitation, processing and use of titanium ore until 2020, with orientation to 2030 approved in the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 1546/QD-TTg to harmonize the current situation. Accordingly, titanium exploitation mines which affect residents and water sources and cause the risk of soil and water pollution… will be closed.