vietnam national coal - mineral industries holding corporation limited
Rare earth industry developed in Vietnam
Thứ Sáu, ngày 29/04/2016

Despite owning plentiful reserves of rare earth, Vietnam is still taking the very first steps on the development path of rare earth industry which requires advanced technology.

Gold of the future

Rare earth is a special type of minerals. It is a strategic material which plays a very important role in developing cutting-edge engineering and high technology such as electricity, electronics, optics, lasers, superconductors, optical emitters. Rare earth is used in the manufacture of catalysts, magnets, alloy, emery, ceramics, and fluorescence. The manufacture of mobile phones, computer hard drives, etc. cannot be performed without rare earth. Many countries consider rare earth ‘gold of the 21st, even the 22nd century’. Scientists call rare earth ‘element of the future’.

Vietnam has relatively abundant rare earth ore is with total estimated reserves of about 22 million tonnes, becoming one of the countries with large reserves of rare earth in the world. Rare earth in Vietnam is found concentrated in Lai Chau (Nam Xe, Dong Pao), Yen Bai (Yen Phu) and the coastal provinces from Thanh Hoa to Ba Ria-Vung Tau on (in titanium mineral sand).

The rare earth industry in Vietnam has not formed and developed yet despite such large reserves. In Vietnam, only Lai Chau Rare Earth JSC is now mining on a small scale alongside several unsystematic ferro production or seasonal, unprofessional ones. Thousands of tons of monazite rare earth ore are collected from titanium flotation in coastal ores; however, they are still stacked in the warehouse without being processed or used.

According to experts, the mining and processing process of rare earth can produce hazardous and radioactive elements. Thus, mining and processing rare earth without complying with technical procedures may cause serious environmental pollution and consequences for the environment, health of people around the mining area. Therefore, the question to develop rare earth industry in Vietnam, according to many scientists, is not easy, especially in the technology investment. Seeking suitable modern technology is the key to help Vietnam exploit this valuable resource effectively.

Cooperation with Japan is an opportunity for Vietnam

It is the statement by Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Linh Ngoc. He said, Vietnamese technology is backward whereas the exploitation capacity is low. As a result, natural resources has not been well-utilized.

Realizing the relationship between the two countries in rare earth industry development, the governments of Vietnam and Japan have signed the cooperation agreement since 2010. Accordingly, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Institute for Technology of radioactive and rare elements, Vietnam Atomic Energy Commission deployed the construction project of center for rare earth technology research and transfer. The project aims to build rare earth research facility with modern and synchronous devices from flotation, hydrometallurgy, and fractional crystallization to testing in Vietnam; develop deep processing technology of pure rare earth in Dong Pao rare earth mine; train staffs specialized in technology research and transfer in the field of rare earth processing.

At the project review meeting recently held in Hanoi, the experts assessed after 5 years of project deployment (from 2011-2015), for the first time Vietnam has built a research facility with synchronous equipment system for the deep processing of rare earth ore, including devices from rare earth ore flotation, hydrometallurgy, fractional crystallization to waste treatment and analyse for the research purpose at a cost of approximately $ 3 million.

Besides, the project has also successfully deployed technologies such as developing rare earth flotation technology with high recovery level; building ore decomposition technology on a pilot scale; building fractional crystallization  of singly rare earth with high purity; building waste treatment technology containing natural radionuclides of the flotation, hydrometallurgy and fractional crystallization procedure, etc.. The success of the project has made a major step forward in the field of rare earth ore research and deep-processing in Vietnam, creating a new premise for research and technology transfer of rare earth processing and the development of rare earth industry in Vietnam.

Through the project, the technical staffs of Vietnam have made great technological movements, acquired a lot of equipment as well as experiences from Japanese experts. Based on the results of the project, Institute for Technology of radioactive and rare elements will publish the official report to put rare earth industry into production and hopefully Vietnam and Japan will continue to promote cooperation.

Giá than và các kim loại cơ bản

Mặt hàng ĐVT Giá % thay đổi
Than USD/tấn 58.25 -0.21%
Đồng USD/lb 2.3485 1.25%
Chì USD/tấn 1,673.75 -0.36%
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Kẽm USD/tấn 1,938.00 0.36%
Nickel USD/tấn 11,695.50 -0.02%

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