Overview of Vietnam’s Mining Industry

Capital Hanoi
Largest city Ho Chi Minh City
Official languages Vietnamese
Official scripts Vietnamese
Ethnic groups 85.7% Kinh
53 minorities
Demonym Vietnamese
Government Socialist one-party state
General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng
President Trương Tấn Sang
Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng
Chairman of National Assembly Nguyễn Sinh Hùng
Legislature National Assembly
Formation
Viet Minh declareindependence fromFrance 2 September 1945
Fall of Saigon 30 April 1975
Reunification 2 July 1976
Current constitution 28 November 2013
Area
Total 332,698 km2 (65th)
128,565 sq mi
Population
2015 estimate 91,700,000(13th)
Density 276.03/km2 (46th)
714.9/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2016 estimate
Total $593,509 billion
Per capita $6,414
GDP (nominal) 2016 estimate
Total $214,750 billion
Per capita $2,321
Currency đồng (₫) (VND)

Overview

  • According to statistics of the first six months of 2015, mining is the third biggest contributor to GDP and has high growth rate of 8.15%.
  • Vietnam is endowed with a wide variety of mineral with over 5000 deposits of more than 60 types of minerals being discovered, including bauxite (7% of the world’s reserves), rare earths, tungsten, titanium, phosphate, coal and iron-ore, mineral construction materials.
  • Vietnam is the third largest mineral producer in SE Asia. The country has a wide variety of mineral deposits however it is dominated by its coal production with 200 coal mines and total reserves of almost 8 billion tons.
  • Vietnam currently produces zinc, nickel, bauxite, coal and manganese, and with the exception of coal, the majority of current mining projects in the country are small or medium in scope.
  • The Vietnamese mining industry is dominated by the state-owned Vietnam Coal and Minerals Industries Corporation (Vinacomin), and has been preparing for a number of major new underground coal mine projects.
  • The new Mining Law has been effective since 2012 including the Directive No 02/CT-TTg and Decree No 15/2012/ND-CP detailing the implementation of the mining law. The law requires mining companies to include downstream processing and higher value production in the mining licence application, whilst providing a more transparent business and operational environment.
  • The country has world class reserves of bauxite, titanium, iron ore and chromite. It also has various other minerals; copper, gold, phosphate rocks, rare earths, limestone and tungsten.
  • Vietnam is in the top 40% of economies globally when considering the importance of mining to the economy.
  • Vietnam’s power plan it aims to build more than 70 new coal-fired power stations by 2030 and it is therefore anticipated that economy will move from being a net exporter of coal to a net importer.
  • Over the last several years Vietnam has witnessed an increase in foreign investments, resulting in increased exploration and the expansion and commissioning of new bauxite, copper and gold projects.
  • Vietnam wishes to 1. improve the geological information available by carrying out surveys, 2. promote a mineral processing industry within the economy 3. ban the export of ore in order to create more economic value for the Vietnamese economy.

Projects

Major Mineral Producers

  • A number of major mining operations have been successfully commissioned recently, such as:
  • Asian Mineral Resources’s Ban Phuc Nickel Mine and processing plant
  • Masan Resources’s Nui Phao Mine and processing plant
  • Vinacomin’s Tan Rai bauxite and alumina plant

In addition to expansions to existing operations including:

Vinacomin Coal (24 open pit, 30 UG)
Sin Quyen Copper (copper, gold)
Masan Resources Nui Phao Tungsten, Fluospar, Bismuth, Copper
AMR Ban Phuc (foreign)
Besra Quang Nam
Tan Rai Aluminum
Quy Nhon Minerals
Thach Khe Iron Ore (Vinacomin)
Co Dinh Chromate project (Vinacomin AML)
Sinh Quyen Expansion project (2nd plant)
Ta Phoi Copper project (Vinacomin major shareholder)
Cao Bang Manganese project Underground mine (Danka Minerals)
Binh Phuoc Bauxite (An Vien group)

New Projects under Construction
Sin Quyen 2 Copper plant
Ta Phoi Copper mine and plant project
Co Dinh Chromite project
Thach Khe Iron Ore mine project
Nhan Co Bauxite and alumina
Tran Hong Quan Aluminium
Ban Phuc Smelter
Nui Phao Smelter
Ta Phoi Smelter
Sin Quyen Smelter
Metallurgical Co Ltd Aluminum
Vinacomin is the owner and major shareholders of minerals mining businesses and project including:
Sin Quyen Copper Complex
Ta Phoi Copper
Thanh Hoa Chromate
Thai Nguyen Zinc
Lam Dong Alumina and Bauxite
Nhan Co Alumina and Bauxite
Thach Khe Iron ore
Song Hong Energy Coal
Binh Thuan Titanium

Opportunities

  • Vietnam presents major opportunities for the processing and refinery industry along with mining technologies and services.
  • Canadian companies who consider entering the Vietnam mining market do so with a strategy of growing opportunities on a regional basis over a longer period of time.
  • It is critical to find the right partner who demonstrates his linked to a senior level of the Government. Finding the right partner can facilitated business success effectively and there are fewer competitive challenges than many other countries.
  • Vietnam is following a similar development path as China by easing business regulations and making structural reforms.
  • A SE Asia market entry strategy should include a partner in Viet Nam to cover the three linked countries including Laos and Cambodia. Vietnam is in the center of the region and offers easy logistics to cover off growth opportunities.
  • Consider attending the Mining Vietnam Exhibition and Conference March 31-April 1. The industry is well attended and quick to show interest in technologies that they have not seen.
  • There is a competent level of English spoken in business circles.

Challenges

  • Foreign investment in mining has been minimal and constrained by regulatory issues, investment and market access challenges.
  • A complicated transaction system, and a lack of transparency in the procurement process can make doing business difficult within the mining sector.
  • Language can also be a barrier to market entry however English is spoken.
  • As most other regional countries the government is considering the export of raw minerals by 2020. The reality is that not many countries will find it economically workable.

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