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|Charcoal is stolen and gathered for consumption in front of Cam Thinh Industrial Zone in the northern Quang Ninh Province. VNA/VNS Photo|
The move was made after the online newspaper Vietnamplus reported on the theft of coal at key coal mines, including those managed by the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group and the Northeast Corporation.
Lai Hong Thanh, deputy director of the General Department of Geology and Minerals of Vietnam, said after learning of the thefts in Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh and Son La provinces, the department reported to the ministry.
It also asked the People’s Committees of these provinces, the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group and the Northeast Corporation to examine the management of the mining areas.
The department has received a report on the incident and decided to set up an inter-disciplinary inspection team to check the situation carefully and transparently.
Last month, Vietnamplus reported on the loss of coal discharged from the mining areas in the three provinces.
Local people were reportedly hired to steal the coal, which was not mentioned in output reports.
On average, a dozen tonnes of coal were picked up every day and sold for VND1.6-1.8 million (US$68.8-77.4) per tonne.
This caused a big loss for the State budget and a shortage of materials for the power sector.
According to a 2018 Vinacomin report, at least four millions of tonnes of commercial coal were stolen from the group's mines last year.
Vietnamplus has tried to contact representatives of the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group for comments, but received no replies.