According to Vietnam National Coal – Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin), Lai Chau Rare Earth Co (Vimico) has signed with Vinacomin a memorandum of understanding on cooperating with Dong Pao rare earth development Co, Japan to exploit and process rare earth in Lai Chau.
Accordingly, Vimico will cooperate with Dong Pao to exploit and process F3 ore rare earth in Dong Pao mine.
The project will be operated in two phases. In phase one, both companies will research, set up exploiting and processing plants in Dong Pao mine, Tam Duong, Lai Chau with the expected rare earth oxide and separate oxide output of 10,000 tonnes/ year. Both of them have the right to decide minerals choosing process, places for processing plants.
In phase 2, two companies would negotiate items on the establishment of a joint venture company, with the expected name”Vietnam – Japan two members limited liability company” and chartered capital of the joint venture company will be over 30 percent of the total investment for the project.
For many years, Japan has imported 97 percent total rare earth amount from China. However, due to limit policy in rare earth export from Chinese government, Japan is trying to seek other suppliers, including Vietnam.
Before that, Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has made a decision to adjust some provisions on zoning plan, exploitation, processing and using of precious stones, rare earths and uranium ore in the direction of allowing to increase exploition output and to cooperate with Japan.
In details, this decision allows to increase exploiting output in Dong Pao mine (Lai Chau) from 200,000 tonnes to 720,000 tonnes per year in the 2008-2015 period.