Thai Nguyen: uncontrolled mineral exploitation pushes locals to the wall

Dong Hy

VietNamNet Bridge – The massive mineral exploitation at four sites in Dong Hy district in Thai Nguyen province has led to serious consequences: the houses of 133 families have been affected by subsidence and cracking, and locals do not have water for daily life.


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A pit belonging to Thai Nguyen Black Metallurgical JSC is located in a residential quarter.

Duong Van Tuyen in Hoa Binh hamlet in Cay Thi commune, whose house is located next to a pit, said many years ago, there was no serious problem because the exploitation was carried out at shallows.

But since 2015, many problems have arisen as the company has been mining at the depth of 25 meters and higher.

“This has led to the loss of water and land subsidence,” he complained.

The massive mineral exploitation at four sites in Dong Hy district in Thai Nguyen province has led to serious consequences: the houses of 133 families have been affected by subsidence and cracking, and locals do not have water for daily life.

By June 6, three houses in Hoa Binh hamlet of Cay Thi commune, located in Chom Vung Tay mining area had been found at ‘extremely dangerous level’ with lives and properties under threat.

Four deep holes have appeared in the land plot covering an area of 1,500 square meters owned by Nong Cao Khanh. The largest hole is 40 square meters, while the smallest is 8 square meters. The holes have absorbed the water from Ngan Me Stream nearby with strong attraction, causing whirlpools.

At the 700 square meter field of Luan Thi Ngan, two 8-20 square meter holes have appeared. Observers can see the signs of continuously cracking. The field is just 50 meters from Nui Quang area belonging to Trai Cau Iron Mine.

Phap Luat Viet Nam found that of the 133 affected local households, 44 households are in Trai Cau Town and 89 in Cay Thi commune.

In the hamlets of Cay Thi commune, 117 fields covering an area of 7.5 hectares owned by 44 households have seen land subsidence which has caused deep holes and the loss of water.

“Our water wells have become exhausted. We don’t have water for daily life,” said Nong Van Nang, a farmer in Cay Thi commune.

“We have houses, but we can’t live in them. We have fields, but we cannot grow rice,” he continued. Instead of growing rice, local farmers have to grow peanuts, but there is no water for harvesting.

Nguyen Ba Chinh, deputy director of the Thai Nguyen provincial Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, on June 29 confirmed that the land subsidence, loss of water and house cracking and said local authorities were seeking solutions to help people to resettle.

He also confirmed that the mineral exploitation activities are the reason behind the problems. Four companies are carrying out exploitation in the area.

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