9:56:56 AM | 6/5/2006
China-based ALUMINUM CORP OF CHINA LTD. (CHALCO), the world's second-largest alumina producer, has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Vietnam Coal and Mineral Industrial Group (VCMIG) on bauxite exploitation and aluminium production in the Central Highlands Dak Nong province of Vietnam.
The MOU mentioned bauxite mining, alumina production and the completion of a feasibility study for the construction of a 600-MW thermo power plant and another 300,000-ton-per-year aluminium electrolysis.
In the first stage, the alumina plant would have an installed production capacity of 1.9 million tons per year. In the second stage, output is expected to rise to 4 million tons a year.
The joint venture project is expected to require an investment of more than $1.3 billion to undertake and would also include the construction of a railway to transport alumina to a seaport. CHALCO will help Vietnam petition the Chinese government for preferential loans to build the railway.
The VCMIG will hold 51 per cent of the shares in the Mine Exploitation Joint Venture and CHALCO will hold 60 per cent of the stakes in the Aluminia Joint Venture.
VCMIG and Chalco reached the first agreement on developing the Dak Nong project on December 14, 2005.
Vietnam has reserves of more than eight billion tons of bauxite to be used in alumina production, mostly un-mined, ranking it 4th behind only Australia, Guinea and Brazil.
Dak Nong province has seven bauxite mines with a total reserve of 2.7 billion tons. Around four kilograms of bauxite are needed to produce one kilogram of aluminum.
Vietnam plans to actively exploit bauxite ores in the central highlands Lam Dong and Dak Nong provinces between now and 2010 to process alumna for export. After 2010, it will invest in aluminum plants to meet local demand.
The Vietnam Mineral Corporation (Vimico), the country's largest mining company, on April 7 kicked off an aluminum bauxite complex in Central Highlands Lam Dong province, the first and the largest of its kind in the country. The complex, scheduled to be operational in 2009, has sufficient mineral reserves to operate for more than a century.
The VND7.8-trillion (over $490-million) project is to have a production capacity of 1.7 million tons of bauxite and 600,000 tons of alumina a year.
Vimico’s Source, Vietnam Panorama