Vietnam yet to tap rare earth resources

The information was shared by Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dang Quoc Khanh during a question-and-answer session at the National Assembly (NA) on June 4. The question about the use and management of rare earth was raised by NA deputyTran Quang Minh (Quang Binh province).

Minister Khanh said that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) has so far evaluated 2.7 million tonnes of rare earth, but 18 million tonnes of rare earth have yet to be evaluated.

"The prime minister has assigned the MoNRE to conduct a basic investigation and evaluate the overall reserves. Based on our data, Vietnam has approximately 30 million tonnes of rare earth," Khanh said.

"To exploit important minerals, especially rare earths, we must consider deep processing and fine processing. The aim is to serve Vietnam's chip and semiconductor industry and exports," he added.

However, the minister pointed out that Vietnam does not have deep processing technology, so it is necessary to attract investment, joint ventures, and technology transfer in this field.

The MoNRE has increasingly stepped up its assessment of rare earth reserves and research, and has called on provinces such as Lai Chau, Yen Bai, and Lao Cai to strengthen rare earth management.

Lai Chau is home to Vietnam's largest rare earth mine, Dong Pao, with 132 hectares, alongside the Bac Nam Xe and Nam Nam Xe mines.

Rare earth elements are a group of 17 metals used in various high-tech applications, including smartphones, wind turbines, electric vehicles, aircraft, phones, and defence.

Source: Vietnam Investment Review