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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Vietnam Arrests 6 Rare Earth Firm Executives, Seizes 13,715 Tons Of Ore

Vietnamese police have arrested six individuals accused of violating mining regulations, including the chairman of a company leading efforts to establish a rare earth industry that could challenge China's dominance in the sector, as reported by Khanh Vu and Francesco Guarascio for Reuters.

Đoàn Văn Huấn (left) and Nguyễn Văn Chính (right) were charged with “Violating regulations on exploration and exploitation of natural resources, causing severe consequences” and “violating regulations on accounting, causing severe consequences.” I Photo

The government of Vietnam plans to auction new mining concessions for rare earths later this year, and officials from at least one company, Vietnam Rare Earth JSC (VTRE), which had been slated to bid, were among those arrested.

VTRE's chairman, Luu Anh Tuan, was accused of forging value-added tax receipts in trading rare earths with Thai Duong Group, which operates a mine in Yen Bai province, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The chairman of Thai Duong Group, Doan Van Huan, was also arrested on allegations of making 632 billion dong ($25.80 million) from illegal sales of ore extracted from the mine his company operated in Yen Bai province.

Police also seized 13,715 tons of rare earth ores in a raid on Thai Duong's premises.

Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

VTRE has partnered with Australian mining companies Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) and Blackstone Minerals LTD, which were not named in the Vietnamese authorities' investigation.

Blackstone stated in September that it had agreed to collaborate with VTRE to secure concessions at the country's largest mine, Dong Pao in Lai Chau province. A Blackstone executive had informed Reuters that its investment in the project would amount to approximately $100 million should it win the concession.

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