Thursday, 27/10/2011 13:54

Authorities stop titanium exports, businesses cry for help

The Binh Dinh provincial authorities has ordered to stop exporting titanium ores. However, the decision has been facing a strong opposition from local businesses, which consider titanium exploitation and export as their main bread earners.

On October 24, the Binh Dinh provincial authorities had to organize a meeting, where the representatives of the local authorities attended to listen to the enterprises which talked about their distress.

According to the Binh Dinh provincial Department for Industry and Trade, on October 3, the local authorities released a decision on prohibiting to export raw titanium ores through the waterways. Since then, eight enterprises have entreated for help, asking to open the “sea doors”, saying that the new decision has put big difficulties for them.

The representatives of An Truong An Company, which specializes in exploiting titanium in Phu My district, and My Tai Company, said that they do not have processing factories on the spot and they have to sell ores in other places.

In fact, the titanium ore reserves in Binh Dinh province are not big enough to force all the titanium exploitation companies to build processing factories of their own.

The enterprises have complained that the latest decision by the local authorities will put big difficulties for enterprises, because from now on, they cannot export raw materials, while the enterprises which have processing factories try to force the prices down, because they well know that exploiters now cannot sell titanium to anyone else.

The Binh Dinh provincial authorities have also received the petitions from a lot of enterprises, which denounced others of setting unreasonable prices. They also complained that there lacks a transparency in raw material trade, which has caused big losses to enterprises.

At the meeting, the local industry department and provincial authorities were violently criticized by the exploitation enterprises. Le Duy Linh, General Director of My Tai Company, compared the latest decision as the “red light” which has been turned on suddenly, skipping the yellow light. Therefore, exploitation companies do not have time to get adapted to the new circumstances.

“Since the day of operation, I do not know that we must treat titanium preliminarily to obtain the TiO2 content at 52 percent at least,” Linh said.

“We do not protest the policy on deep processing. However, I know some projects which can exploit only 2000-3000 tons of raw ore. Where can we get enough materials to process, then?,” he said.

However, the argument was rejected by Nguyen Tran Trieu Thanh from SQC Company. “We contacted all exploiters in late 2010, but they all refused us, because they sold contracts on selling titanium to the businessmen outside the province already,” she said.

According to Nguyen Van Thang, Deputy Director of the Department for Industry and Trade, by mid October 2011, the total exploitation capacity of the enterprises in the locality had reached 900,000 tons of raw titanium a year. While enterprises have made massive investments in the ore exploitation, they keep indifferent to the processing sector.

Thang has also pointed out that local enterprises have ignored the regulations by the government, the local authorities, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade which prohibits the exploitation, collection and carrying of unprocessed titanium ores out of the province.

Thang also pointed out that a lot of enterprises collected ores but then export to China. As a result, Vietnam loses its natural resources, while the State fails to collect tax.

vietnamnet, Lao dong

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