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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.


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
Name of conflict:Titanium Mining in Thuan Nam district, Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam
State or province:Ninh Thuan province
Location of conflict:Thuan 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 processing
Water access rights and entitlements
Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Rare metals
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:83.7
Level of Investment:unknown
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:700 - 5000
Start of the conflict:08/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Quang Thuan One-Member Co Ltd. from Vietnam - mining
Relevant government actors:People's Committee of Ninh Thuan Province; the Phuoc Dinh commune’s government
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Defend the Defenders; Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience (FVPOC)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
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
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
Other Health impactsrespiratory inflammation, eye diseases due to pollution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:There has been a temporary suspension
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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Vietnam’s 2010 Mineral Law
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] 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]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Protesters and anti-riot police
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Meta information
Contributor:A. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB)
Last update24/06/2015
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