Quang Nam closes Bong Mieu gold mine over illegal exploitation

By Duc Tri
Tue, August 30, 2022 | 2:25 pm GTM+7

Quang Nam authorities will close down the central province's Bong Mieu gold mine due to pervasive illegal activity following the bankruptcy of a foreign-invested company that exploited the site four years ago.

Bong Mieu gold mine, Quang Nam province, central Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Thanh Nien newspaper.

Bong Mieu gold mine, Quang Nam province, central Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Thanh Nien newspaper.

The environmental restoration and mining closure project, worth VND19.8 billion ($845,000), was approved by Quang Nam People’s Council on Monday.

The project, covering 368 hectares, is financed by the deposit of Bong Mieu Gold Mining Co., Ltd. for environmental renovation and restoration, and the provincial budget.

The project’s duration is between 2022 and 2024. In 2022, with a budget of VND13 billion, contractors are set to build a wall blocking the mine's main gate, demolish illegal entrances, remove illegal surface constructions, collect and treat waste, plant trees, and monitor the environment upon closure.

Bong Mieu holds among the biggest gold reserves in Vietnam. In 2005, Bong Mieu Gold Mining Co., Ltd., under foreign-invested Besra Vietnam, was licensed to exploit the site. In 2018, the firm was declared bankrupt, with debts of VND1.26 trillion ($53.77 million) and losses of VND1 trillion, nearly VND1 trillion above its equity.

Local residents have conducted illegal mining activities ever since, negatively impacting the environment via the use of chemicals and untreated soil.

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