MHT – Environmental protection is the key factor for sustainable development

Jun 09, 2021

Sustainable development has become an indispensable trend worldwide because it is considered the “leverage” helping enterprises not only grow sustainably, promote the competitiveness and create the difference, but also improve the trust from their customers and partners. In addition, the vigorous economic development and increasing use of natural resources will make the world face the depletion of natural resources and consequences caused by environmental pollution.

Determining such key points, MHT has been steadfastly implemented sustainable development goals as the top priority in our development strategy and our mission contributing to a stable and sustainable development of the community and promoting the brand equity and corporate culture.

Strict requirements

At MHT Vietnam, environmental management are always in parallel with production, and aligned from compliance with legal documents to the site control. MHT is fully compliant to all legal regulations on environment-related procedures and documents such as environmental impact assessment report, applications for certification of environmental protection works completion, and for water discharge permit, all of which are approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE).

Parallel to this, the environmental pollution prevention and control are given top priority by the MHT Management team. The Company has invested in a series of advanced, modern environmental protection works which help pollution treatment and comply with current legal regulations. All wastewater is collected and treated to meet the requirements before being discharged into the environment. Domestic waste, normal waste and hazardous waste are collected, sorted at source and transferred to the competent contractor for handling. MHT has also invested in environmental rehabilitation and restoration works at the mine site.

MHT’s Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report and the supplementary EIA have been approved by MONRE under Decision No. 233/QĐ-BTNMT dated 28/02/2005 and Decision No. 370/QĐ-BTNMT dated 06/03/2008 respectively. Besides, MONRE has also approved of other Permits and formalities for MHT including Approval of the supplementary environment restoration and rehabilitation plan under Decision No. 1536/QĐ-BTNMT dated 20/06/2019; Certification of completion of environment protection works under Certificate No. 157/GXN-BTNMT dated 10/12/2019; and Water discharge Permit No. 3172/GP-BTNMT dated 12/12/2019. MHT has also been granted by Thai Nguyen Provincial People’s Committee (TN PPC) with Permit for surface water exploitation from Cong River No. 497/GP-UBND dated 21/02/2019 for tapping water from Cong River to provide for production.

At MHT, wastewater is treated at the centralized wastewater treatment Plant following the relevant standards, most of which is recycled for use. In 2020, MHT has recycled almost 7.7 million m3 of treated wastewater, equivalent to 75% of the total volume of water use.

Wastes are sorted at source, separated between domestic waste, normal waste and hazardous waste, before being transferred to the competent Contractor. In 2020, the volume of recycled wastes being collected and transferred accounted for 37% of the total waste volume.

Advanced wastewater treatment Plant at MHT Viet Nam.

Regarding waste rocks, MHT utilizes most of the clean (NAG) waste rocks to build the tailings storage facilities and other facilities within the mine site. In 2020, MHT reused almost 987 million m3 of clean waste rocks, equivalent to 20% of the total volume of waste rocks.

Since put into operation, MHT has heavily invested in restoration projects and environment protection on the mine site and in the adjacent areas. Areas which have been completed with earthworks or restored are cultivated with grass and plants for rehabilitation. Environment rehabilitation and restoration is implemented along with the development of the mine. By the end of 2020, MHT had restored 63.85ha of land along waste dump slopes and disturbed land areas. At the same time, MHT sought to work with reputable partners and organisations and coordinate studies to work out new, effective solutions to environment recovery.

H.C. Starck, a subsidiary of MHT in Germany has managed to sort out most of the raw material needs for Goslar Plant by recycling tungsten scrap material purchased from the market, or received from customers within the framework of the conversion or specialized recycling programs. As a result, the recycling rate of raw materials from purchased tungsten scrap increased gradually and reached over 75% in 2020. This is a high, encouraging result in the context when the global recycling rate in tungsten industry is estimated to be 25-30%, and fluctuates greatly between different regions across the world ranging from 15 to 50%. In all H.C. Starck plants, by-products from major ones are often rich in high-value materials (especially metals), which can be recycled into raw materials by H.C. Starck itself, or by other companies. Most of the wastes from production are therefore recycled to minimize costs for treatment and environment protection.

A series of mitigation measures

MHT believe that environmental protection is part of our corporate responsibility for sustainability and community development. Therefore, the Company has been implementing a series of measures to eliminate causes to environment pollution and mitigate environment impacts, specifically:

MHT has built a modern wastewater treatment Plant with a capacity of 1,500m3/hour using bio-technology combined with physio-chemical treatment to ensure the water meets the standards before being discharged into the environment.

  • Build the hazardous waste storage area in line with relevant standard before transferring to the competent Contractor for handling.
  • Build two waste dumps in the North and South of the mining pit to store waste rocks arising from mining production. Build 02 tailings storage cells (OTC and STC) to store oxide and sulphide tailings arising from ore processing.
  • Implement a number of remedies to minimize dust from production and transportation activities, such as: Install the dust suppression system, use dust filter mesh, and frequently spray water along hauling roads; at the same time, plant trees in those areas completed with earth work to mitigate dust.

MHT also implements regular maintenance and servicing schedule on the machines and equipment or install noise-reduction equipment to minimize noise.

Monitoring programs are carried to control and assess the environment quality. In 2020, a total of 8,079 environment samples were taken, including 533 water samples, 676 soil samples, 6,596 wastewater samples, 111 solid waste samples, 35 samples of soil and sediments, 26 samples of surrounding air, 74 samples of gas emission, and 28 times of measuring 24-hour noise exposure. Apart from the conventional way of monitoring, MHT also operates 04 automated wastewater monitoring stations and 01 air monitoring station.

“MHT sustainable development model revolves around the harmonious interrelation between human, environment and profit. We keep focusing on effective use of natural resources, cautious operations planning to deliver both short-term and long-term benefits for people, environment and the common prosperity. This is how we operate to ensure the sustainable development.” CEO Craig Bradshaw said.

With our relentless efforts, MHT continues to be ranked as Top 50 Sustainable Development Enterprise in Vietnam 2020. This is the third consecutive year MHT has been honoured as a Sustainable Enterprise of Vietnam. This achievement is associated with Msssanagement’s right direction and viewpoint “environmental protection is the key factor to sustainable development.”

Source: Natural Resources and Environment Newspaper