South Korea's Trident obtains rights to rare earth mines in Vietnam

May 27, 2024 | 16:26
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Trident Global Holdings, a prominent South Korea-based conglomerate with interests in mining, real estate, and carbon capture technology, has acquired rights to three significant rare earth element mines in Vietnam.
South Korea's Trident obtains rights to rare earth mines in Vietnam

Trident will undertake the development and processing of these mines, providing the necessary manpower, capital, technology, equipment, and other support.

In collaboration with Vietnam's Hung Hai Group, Trident will commence its new mining operations in Vietnam later this year.

Hung Hai Group, which already owns three mines and mineral exploration licenses in north Vietnam's Lai Chau Province, will contribute its assets, includingthe Bac (North) Nam Xe, Nam (South) Nam Xe, and Dong Pao mines, which boast confirmed reserves totalling several million tons. Going forward, Hung Hai Group will handle mining-related tasks, while Trident will oversee the development and processing of rare earth minerals.

The Bac Nam Xe and Nam Nam Xe mines, housing the largest rare earth reserves in Vietnam, are located in Lao Cai province. These two expansive mines, each spanning over 300 hectares, are set to be jointly developed by Trident and Hung Hai Group.

Current confirmed reserves stand at approximately two million tonnes and three million tonnes, respectively. The development plan includes ongoing verification of these reserves and an ambitious expansion of the mining areas through extensive exploratory drilling.

The Dong Pao mine, in which Hung Hai Group holds a 20 per cent stake, is being developed by Lai Chau Rare Earth JSC. This ambitious project involves the mining and processing of rare earth ore across an expansive area of approximately 1,000 hectares. It boasts estimated reserves of about 1.5 million tonnes. According to current London Metal Exchange (LME) prices, the value of these rare earth deposits is projected to increase exponentially to hundreds of billions of dollars.

"This partnership marks a milestone as the first instance of a Korean company led by an American CEO, directly investing in the ownership and development rights of an overseas rare earth mine. This is especially significant given the skyrocketing demand for rare earth elements, which are crucial in the electronics, medical, chemical, and defence industries," said Sam Chi, American CEO of Trident Global Holdings. "These materials are essential for the production of electric vehicles, batteries, LCDs, semiconductors, MRI machines, reaction catalysts, and much more. Furthermore, this collaboration will create Vietnam's position as one of the leaders in the next generation of leading technology providers, establishing Vietnam as one of the key countries to contribute to the world's generation to come."

Over time, Trident and Hung Hai Group aim to establish a comprehensive value chain that extends beyond mining. This integrated approach will encompass refining, smelting, processing, and the distribution of final products, thus solidifying their position in the rare earth elements market. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Trident intends to develop and deploy new, environmentally responsible technologies for extracting and processing rare earth materials.

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By Vy Bui

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