Mother Lode: The Untapped Rare Earth Mineral Resources of Vietnam
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Vietnam possesses untapped mineral resources in the form of rare earth elements, which are found together with naturally occurring radioactive materials including uranium. Given that Vietnams stated national strategic goals regarding mineral wealth, outlined in the 2010 Mineral Law, call for increased exploration and exploitation of mineral resources to improve Vietnam on the socio-economic plane, and further noting that Power Master Plan VII of 2011 lays out an ambitious plan to increase nuclear power-generating capacity from zero to 10.1 of total power output by 2030, there is cause to consider whether the two objectives could be linked. World markets for rare earth elements are at present a near-monopoly controlled by China, and it is becoming ever clearer that alternative sources for these elements are necessary this is what Vietnam has to offer. Vietnam does not have the domestic capacity to produce its own nuclear fuel providing an avenue for obtaining these fuels from domestic uranium ore associated with rare earth element extraction is what an outside state actor -- perhaps the United States -- could bring to the table.
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy
- Mining Engineering