[enviro-vlc] 2, 000 Chinese laborers may work on Central Highlands alumina project

Kevin Yuk-shing Li kevinysli at graduate.hku.hk
Sat Apr 25 13:10:15 EST 2009

2,000 Chinese laborers may work on Central Highlands alumina project
15:23' 24/04/2009 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge - The Chinese partner in the Nhan Co Aluminum Company is 
preparing a request to employ 2000 Chinese workers at the bauxite mining 
site in Dak Nong Province.

Before the end of the month, the Nhan Co Alumina JS Company will submit its 
environmental assessment report on a proposed bauxite mining and alumina 
refining project to the Dak Nong Province Peoples Council for its review.

The company is also preparing to start construction of a 650,000 tonne/year 
alumina refinery, at a cost of VND12.5 trillion ($735.2 million) in Nhan Co 
commune, Dak RLap district, Dak Nong.

Nhan Co General Director Bui Quang Tien said that Chalco is hastening 
research on Vietnamese laws on foreign workers in order to bring Chinese 
workers to the central highlands province.

Tien said that during important phases of construction, there may be up to 
2,000 Chinese workers at Nhan Co.

Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding between the partners, the 
only foreign workers that Nhan Co Alumina JS Company will employ will be 
highly skilled specialists. They will stay in a 2ha area near the 
construction site, according to the MOU.

The Nhan Co Company and the Dak Nong provincial police are working together 
on the draft of a letter to Chalco explaining Vietnamese laws on employment 
of foreign workers and the necessary conditions for maintaining public 
security and order in Dak Nong.

At the Tan Rai bauxite mining project in adjacent Lam Dong province, which 
has already been launched, there are 500 Chinese workers. Among that number, 
many are simple laborers who entered Vietnam on tourist visas, said a vice 
chairman of the provincial People's Committee.

Environmental impact assessment by Nhan Co joint venture called unconvincing

At a scientific seminar on the bauxite mining projects in the Central 
Highlands on April 9, the central government, responding to criticism by 
scientists, promised to re-examine the projected economic gains from these 
ventures and adjust the bauxite industry development plan. It has been 
waiting for the submission of a supplementary report on environment impacts 
of the Nhan Co project.

On April 16, the Dak Nong provincial authorities considered the assessment 
of the projected environmental impact of the Nhan Co alumina refinery. The 
plant has a designed capacity of 650,000 tonnes yearly and may be expanded 
to 1.2 million tones. In view of the concerns expressed by scientists 
regarding bauxite exploitation in the central highlands, the report did not 
contain enough solid information to persuade the local authorities of the 
project's environmental safety.

At the seminar on April 9, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai stated that 
alumina projects that have annual capacity of 1-2 million tones will be 
submitted to the National Assembly for consideration.


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