Titanium Mining in Thuan Nam district, Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam

Titanium mining in Thuan Nam district has caused health and environmental damages, while consuming scarce groundwater, needed for daily living and agriculture. Villagers strongly oppose the mining activities.


Description
In August 2012, the provincial People’s Committee of Ninh Thuan province approved a titanium mining permit for the Quang Thuan company, covering 83.7ha in Son Hai 1 and Son Hai 2 hamlets of Thuan Nam district. Since then, the mining activities have caused significant environmental pollution and have led to serious health problems, such as respiratory inflammations and eye diseases, provoked by dust and sand pollution. Further impacts include drastic reduction of groundwater sources and drying up of wells due to the company’s tapping of water sources for ore processing. The growing lack of water has negatively affected the daily life of villagers as well as agricultural production in the region [1].
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Basic Data
NameTitanium Mining in Thuan Nam district, Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam
CountryVietnam
ProvinceNinh Thuan province
SiteThuan Nam district
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Mineral processing
Water access rights and entitlements
Specific CommoditiesRare metals
Water
Titanium-Zircon Ore
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
Quang Thuan company was granted an 83.7ha mining permit to explore, mine and process titanium-zircon ore in the Thuan Nam district [1].
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Project Area (in hectares)83.7
Level of Investment (in USD)unknown
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population700 - 5000
Start Date08/2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesQuang Thuan One-Member Co Ltd. from Vietnam - mining
Relevant government actorsPeople's Committee of Ninh Thuan Province; the Phuoc Dinh commune’s government
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersDefend the Defenders; Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience (FVPOC)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Threats to use arms
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Food insecurity (crop damage)
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Otherrespiratory inflammation, eye diseases due to pollution
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Repression
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.There has been a temporary suspension
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Vietnam’s 2010 Mineral Law
[click to view]

LAW ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION No. 55/2014/QH13
[click to view]

Links

[1] tuoitrenews.vn online (04/01/2014): "Vietnam titanium miner suspended for causing pollution" (accessed 22/06/2015)
[click to view]

[2] BLOG DanLamBao: "Protesters clash with police at massive protest in Ninh Thuan" (accessed 22/06/2015)
[click to view]

[3] Defend the Defenders online (27/03/2014): "Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience (FVPOC) condemns detention of two innocent residents in Thuan Nam district, Ninh Thuan province" (accessed 22/06/2015)
[click to view]

[4] Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience 2014. "VIETNAM: MEMBER OF THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL & HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION 2014" (accessed 22/06/2015)
[click to view]

Media Links

Protesters and anti-riot police
[click to view]

Other Documents

Protests, March 2014 Source: http://danlambaovn.blogspot.fr/2014/03/protesters-clash-with-police-at-massive.html
[click to view]

Burned mining installations Source: http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/18727/vietnam-titanium-miner-suspended-for-pollution-problems
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorA. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB)
Last update24/06/2015
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