There are six national mineral reserves in Binh Thuan
There are six national mineral reserves covering 82,500 hectares in Binh Thuan province, under programming by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE).
However, Binh Thuan has proposed using 20,000 hectares of land in the reserves for 49 tourism projects. It has also asked to extend the mineral reserve time from 32 years to 50-70 years so as to help investors expand production and take back the investment capital.
Le Cao Doan, a respected economist, has called on the Binh Thuan provincial authorities, MONRE and relevant agencies to consider the issue thoroughly, because titanium is a precious mineral which can be used in aerospace industry, metallurgy, machine building industry, chemicals and construction.
As titanium mining requires high technology, local authorities tend to discount the precious natural resource. However, Binh Thuan needs to understand that it has to protect the titanium reserves for exploitation in the future.
What will happen if Binh Thuan allocates land to investors for 50-70 years, but the nation needs to exploit titanium during that time? Will it take back the land from investors immediately, or only after 50-70 years?
If the second scenario happens, Vietnam will waste a big resource.
Le Huy Ba from the HCMC Industry University has also voiced his concern about the proposal, warning that many problems may arise because of the decision to use titanium reserve land for other purposes.
Ba stressed that Vietnam must not develop construction works and projects that last many years.
In this case, Binh Thuan authorities should only use the titanium reserve land for short-term projects, such as forest planting ones.
Meanwhile, the province is considering allocating land to investors to develop tourism and resort projects, i.e. long-term development projects.
“It happened in the past that local authorities allocated land to investors and could not take back the land. Binh Thuan needs to learn a lesson from this,” he said.
Ba warned that once investors get land, they may use the land for other purposes rather than develop tourism projects as they promise. They may organize titanium exploitation, for example. If so, Binh Thuan will lose minerals into private investors’ hand.
A scientist commented as titanium mining requires high technology, local authorities tend to discount the precious natural resource. However, Binh Thuan needs to understand that it has to protect the titanium reserves for exploitation in the future.