Lax management of mineral exploitation causes harm
  • | nguoilaodong, | October 15, 2013 07:25 AM

Local authorities granting permission to too many mineral exploitation projects to begin operations has caused ineffective business management as well as a state budget deficit since 2005.


Mining activities harm the environment 

The problem was discussed at a conference on mining management held recently by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the NA's Committee for Science, Technology and Environment and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) in Hanoi.

There are more than 5,000 mines with about 60 different types of minerals being exploited in Vietnam, but management of this work is weak.

Since July 2011 until June 2013, the MNRE granted only 90 exploration and mining licences, however authorities in 57 provinces and cities granted a total of 957 licences between July 2011 and December 2012, a large number of them granted despite regulation. Inspectors from the MNRE discovered that 345 projects do not have investment certifications and 196 projects do not even have mineral exploitation plans.

Lai Hong Thanh, head of the Administration of Mineral Activities, said investors must make periodic reports, but only 40% have followed the rules. "The government is unable to keep up with the situation, taxes and assessments of the country's remaining natural resources."

Andy Becker, head of Oxfam International in Vietnam, said profits from mineral exploitation can be used to stimulate other sectors, but could also have very adverse effects on forests and biodiversity. 60% of poorest people in the world live in countries that are rich in natural resources. High mineral dependence can lead a high poverty rate, he added.

Mai Xuan Hung from the NA's Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, also said environmental and infrastructural systems surrounding mineral mines are often damaged.

Expert, Le Dang Doanh, said authorities in localities may ask to divide the mines into multiple parts for several projects and cause harm to the local ecology. "The responsibilities of local and national governmental agencies must be made clear in these situations," he said.

Meanwhile, many experts suggested Vietnam join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in order to improve management of such works. Since EITI was introduced in 2002, 39 countries have joined, bringing benefits to both government, enterprises and local people.

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