~ Le ViÍt Nam, aujourd'hui. ~
The Vietnam News

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[Year 1999]
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Vietnam to tie miners to environmental protection

HANOI - Vietnam has issued a rule that will force firms seeking to tap natural resources to protect the environment at their mining site by paying cash deposits or mortgaging assets at local banks.
The official Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Tuesday said a circular from various ministries would take effect from November 6 and apply to any firm wishing to mine in Vietnam. Tuoi Tre said the cash or mortgaged assets would be used to ensure firms protected the environment, although it did not say how authorities were entitled to act in the event of non-compliance.

Officials were not available to comment and it was unclear if the measure applied to existing mining licences. If mining was expected to last less than three years, firms would pay a one-off cash deposit equal to the expected cost of protecting the environment, the paper said, without giving details on how that charge would be determined.
For mining of more than three years, deposits could be paid in tranches, the newspaper added.

Vietnam has significant quantities of copper, gold, tin, lead, zinc, gem stones, nickel, non-ferrous metals, clay and phosphate. Large deposits of coal have already been surveyed.
However, apart from coal extraction, much of Vietnam's mining is small-scale because a maze of regulations have made foreign companies wary of investing. The state of Vietnam's existing environmental rules was unclear.

Reuters - November 3, 1999.