Work to begin on second alumina plant this month

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State-owned Vietnam National Coal and Minerals Industries Group plans to start building the country’s second alumina plant in the Central Highlands this month, the government said in a report.

Construction of the US$655-million Nhan Co alumina project will begin on February 28, the report says.

The project consists of two phases. When the first phase is completed in 2010, the plant will be able to produce 650,000 tons of alumina a year. The figure is set to double in the second post-2015 phase.

The plant will create jobs for 1,350 people and have annual revenue of VND3.7 trillion, according to government estimates.

The bauxite mine in Nhan Co in Dak Nong Province has 270 million tons of reserves. Bauxite is refined into alumina, which is then smelted into aluminum metal.

Alumina is a white or colorless oxide of aluminum that is used in catalysts, abrasives and the manufacture of artificial rubies and sapphires.

The national coal group said last year it expected its first mine in Lam Dong Province to start production as early as August this year and produce 650,000 tons of alumina annually by late 2011.

Vietnam has 5.4 billion tons of bauxite reserves, the world’s largest after Guinea and Australia, according to a US Geological Survey report published last year.

President Nguyen Minh Triet said early this year that bauxite mining and processing in the Central Highlands region must be done effectively and cause no environmental damage.

Source: Thanh Nien

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