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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Vietnam looks to turn out two million tons of rare earths annually

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Vietnam is boosting the production of rare earths, with around two million tons to be extracted annually by 2030.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha has signed a decision approving a comprehensive development plan for minerals in the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050.

As part of the plan, the Government will look into licensed rare earth mines in Lai Chau Province, including Bac Nam Xe and Nam Nam Xe. Additional surveying will be carried out to explore opportunities for licensed and new mines in Lai Chau, Lao Cai, and Yen Bai provinces.

The plan also involves enhancing technological advancements, exploring new markets, and boost the deep processing of rare earths at existing mines like Dong Pao in Lai Chau Province and Yen Phu in Yen Bai Province. Furthermore, there are plans to complete the construction of a rare earths processing facility in Yen Phu Commune in Yen Bai Province.

To facilitate processing capabilities, three hydrometallurgical and processing projects, as well as minerals separation projects, will be built in Lai Chau and Lao Cai provinces to process total rare earth oxide (“TREO”) and rare earth oxide (“REO”).

Looking ahead to the period from 2031 to 2050, Vietnam will continue additional surveying of licensed rare earth mines and explore new mining opportunities in Lai Chau and Lao Cai provinces. The Government aims to expand investments in operating mines, with a focus on deep processing of rare earth metals, aiming for annual TREO and REO output of 40,000 to 80,000 tons each.

Furthermore, there will be consideration for new investments in a metallurgical factory with a capacity of 7,500 to 10,000 tons per year.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) data from 2020, Vietnam possesses 18% of the world’s total rare earth reserves.

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