Vietnamese mining business affirms its brand on international arena

Aug 10, 2021

Masan High-Tech Materials Corporation was mentioned at the meetings as a role model for efficient, responsible and sustainable mining in Vietnam during the 8th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Minerals held recently.

An engineer works at R&D department of Masan High-Tech Materials. Photo: Masan

The 8th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the 21st ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Minerals and the 14th ASOMM+3 Meeting were held in the form of teleconference from 6 to 8 October 2021 with the participation of representatives from 10 ASEAN countries and three ASEAN dialogue partners of Japan, China, and the RoK.

The Meetings’ objective is to adopt the strategy, plan for sustainable minerals management and development, environmental protection during and after mining, climate change adaptation, strengthening cooperation in ASEAN to elevate the status of Vietnam in the mining sector in the region and world; highlight the role, experience of Vietnam in the mining and use of natural resources in an appropriate and efficient manner. Masan High-Tech Materials Corporation was praised as one of the typical businesses in the field of mining and tungsten downstream processing in Vietnam.

Many years ago, Vietnam used to learn from and lag behind other countries in the world on how to mine and process the minerals. This view has now completely changed. Through the processing circuits, ROM ores with low grade and value will be processed into finished products with higher quality and value, which may be directly used or as input materials for industries. Therefore, fostering sustainable mining and enhancing the value of Vietnam’s natural resources are always considered crucial to the livelihood and prosperity of the economy.

Entering the world’s mineral market 11 years ago, the emergence of Masan High-Tech Materials in the regional and international mineral markets has been widely recognized in 3 aspects. Firstly, the ability to develop the projects based on its excellent human resources, finance and technology. The Company constantly innovates and researches to develop high-value mineral products, contributing to the growth and sustainable economic development for Vietnam’s mineral sector.

Secondly, strong capital and cash flows to acquire and develop quality assets to materialize long-term and sustainable values of shareholders, community and shareholders. Masan High-Tech Materials also hedges against commodity price fluctuations with diversified basket of metals and minerals, and also relies on professional management expertise of wide network of investors and business partners to gain low risk level of operation and finance.

With the potential of the state-of-the art mining and processing technology, constant innovation, research and development of products, over the years, Masan High-Tech Materials has affirmed its position as a leading business in Vietnam’s mining industry – a demonstration of sustainable, responsible mining practices according to leading international standards in Vietnam, gradually reaching further in the global high-tech and mining industry.

Masan High-Tech Materials' modern processing plant at Nui Phao polymetallic mine - Vietnam. Photo: Masan
Masan High-Tech Materials’ modern processing plant at Nui Phao polymetallic mine – Vietnam. Photo: Masan

Awaken the potential of Nui Phao polymetallic mine

Masan High-Tech Materials owns Nui Phao polymetallic mine, an open-pit mine located in Dai Tu district, Thai Nguyen province, with high volume of tungsten, fluorspar, bismuth and copper minerals. Realizing the necessity of mining, protection, and enhancing the value of Vietnam’s precious Tungsten resources, in 2010, Masan Group acquired it from a foreign enterprise, restructured and officially re-started Nui Phao Mining Project. Nui Phao mine is also considered one of the most complex mines in the world with 4 products contained in a single ore body.

Therefore, the Nui Phao Project is really a challenge for both experts in the mining sector and the company itself, requiring a huge investment of Masan High-Tech Materials in the technology and finance. This is a thing that the sole Vietnamese enterprise has dared to do when investing $500 million in Nui Phao mine when it was still an untapped land.

After that, Nui Phao project was put into operation and delivered the first tons of products in 2014 which is an important milestone of international significance because Nui Phao is the first new tungsten mine in the world put into operation with the advantage of being one of the lowest- cost tungsten producers in the world. After only 11 years of construction and development, Masan High-Tech Materials has awakened Nui Phao mine and established a new standard in the Vietnam’s mining industry.

Downstream processing to increase the value of resources

Masan High-Tech Materials owns strong human resources, finance and technology to successfully operate a rare mid-stream tungsten processing circuit in Vietnam.

Tungsten mining and processing at Nui Phao mine is well-invested by Masan High-Tech Materials in a sustainable manner in order to enhance the value of resources through modern technology. Whereas other mining enterprises in Vietnam mainly focus on upstream mining, Masan High-Tech Materials focuses on both downstream mining and processing to improve the mineral value.

While many polymetallic mines in Vietnam can only invest in mining and processing lines for 1-2 main types of minerals, Nui Phao mine has focused on processing of 4 product lines. From the raw polymetallic ore, through the process of ore sorting, processing and beneficiation, Masan High-Tech Materials has enriched and enhanced its grade up dozens of times, affirming that Nui Phao’s products are not raw minerals only but high-tech materials critical to modern industries.

In 2020, the production of intermediate Tungsten products totaled 10,171 tons for the year which is a 67.5% increase over 2019. Tungsten chemical products such as APT, YTO, BTO are recognized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade as an industrial product with high purity. In recognition of Masan High-Tech Materials’ contribution to Vietnam’s development of high-tech industries, Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology has awarded the Company with the prestigious “Hi-Tech Enterprise Certificate”.

Environmental protection is a key factor for sustainable development. Photo: Masan
Environmental protection is a key factor for sustainable development. Photo: Masan

The pool of world-class human resources

Masan High-Tech Materials is working, within best-in-class parameters, to develop and expand our business. The company has assembled a team of local and world-class professionals with extensive international and regional experience who are passionate about their work and desire to contribute their strengths and intelligence to “turn” Vietnam’s strategic resources into high-tech global materials – a team of experts with an average of 15 years of experience from famous large mines in the world such as Barrick Gold, Riotiato, BHP Billiton, Sepon, etc.

These experts in the mining industry came and worked in Vietnam to support Masan High-Tech Materials in technology transfer and experience exchange, helping the Company quickly catch up with the most advanced mining technology. The experts at Masan High-Tech Materials have really contributed to the formation and development of a generation of Vietnamese mining experts capable of operating any advanced mining and processing technology in the world. 

Sustainable, responsible mining in accordance with international practice

With a scale and resources of the largest Tungsten mine in the world, Masan High-Tech Materials is committed to making specific contributions to implementation of sustainable development goals, in which the direct beneficiaries are local people, the community and the country.

One of the added values that Masan High-Tech Materials has created for the community and country is the local supply chain established by the Company, professional and safety training, operation support and product consumption since the commercial production was put into operation. Up to now, the Company has built and supported many large ancillary enterprises in the area such as Anh Duong Packaging Company, Khanh Hien Tailoring, etc. These facilities have also contributed to creating stable jobs for about 150 workers who are affected by the project with an average income of VND5.5 – 6.2 million per month.

In the sustainable development strategy for the community, besides effective implementation of social security programs and sustainable agricultural development, Masan High-Tech Materials also focuses on support activities related to the health and rural sanitation, paying special care for children.

Masan High-Tech Materials is committed to sustainable development and strives to engage the community not only for the long-term business of the Company, but also for the firm belief that we have the obligations to improve the standards of Vietnam’s mining industry towards the benefits of future generations. Therefore, successful mining development for local people is not merely the provision of technical solutions, but also an effort to build relationships, harmonize and balance all interests.

“We bear in mind that we should use effectively the natural resources, take appropriate actions to deliver short-term and long-term benefits for people, environment and common prosperity. “This is how we operate to ensure the sustainable development” said Craig Bradshaw, General Director of Masan High-Tech Materials.

Modern production technology, strict mine management process, sustainable development policy for the community and compliance with regulations on environmental protection and energy saving at Nui Phao mine, have been recognized and highly appreciated by experts, domestic and international organizations. This once again proves that Masan High-Tech Materials is a leading business in enhancing the value of Vietnam’s resources, taking innovation as a development driver and daring to compete fairly in both domestic and international markets so that natural resources can become an economic potential in contribution to the development of the whole society.