For most, the memories of Vietnam are usually focused around the Vietnam War. Thankfully, in more recent years, this now peaceful country has become known for more than just a place that was heavily bombed and nearly torn apart. Now it is also known for its great gold deposits and thanks to the great strides the country has taken to rebuild itself, it is now quite safe for foreigners.
Bong Mieu Gold Mine
One of the main mining areas of Vietnam is the Bong Mieu gold mine. This mine can be found within Tam Lanh commune in the Phu Ninh district. This vast area was once a great lush jungle but it has since been devastated and is now littered with hundreds of deep holes. These holes have been used by illegal miners to get down to the rich deposits. It is known that considerable gold has been mined from this area.
If you are interested in trying your hand at mining here you will need to be a bit careful. Local government officials have begun attempting to enforce the laws. All-in-all the local authorities are unable to do much because of the sheer number of miners. The main issue behind the miners is the devastation they leave behind.
The illegal miners moved in when the Besra Gold Inc. shut down their Bong Mieu mine. They owed too much in tax to be able to continue operating and when they were forced to shut down, their absence made way for the locals to move in and try their hand. The Besra Gold Inc. was also forced by the Tax Department to shut down the most prolific mine in all of Vietnam, the Phuoc Sun gold mine.
Considered the largest gold min Phuoc Son employed much of the local population and with its shut down many were forced to find a new way to survive. Hence the illegal mining.
Phuoc Son Gold Mine
Phuoc Son was commissioned in 2011 and is known as the largest gold mine within Vietnam. At its peak it employed more than 1000 locals. It was the very first modern mining plant within Vietnam and while it has had some tax issues off and on it does usually tend to work out the issue so that it can reopen.
First exploration of the Phuoc Son area began in 1999 and in 2013 they mined 60,187 ounces. With continued excavation the company is expected this number continue to increase and are expecting more than 70,000 ounces in the coming year.
It is unlikely that you’ll be able to visit either the Bong Mieu or the Phuoc Son mines as a visitor, you can still use their Central Vietnam locations as starting points for your own gold exploration. You can head to these areas and speak with the locals about where they have been successful or can look at some geographical maps and make your own best guesses.
Also Read: Gold Mining in Laos – A Growing Industry
And: Gold in Myanmar – Rich Mineral Resources
Vietnam is rich with gold and so long as you head in the directions where gold has been found before you are bound to find something. The best suggestion is to find a local guide that can take you somewhere away from many of the illegal mining activity as you would not want to be involved in that. A local guide could probably lead you to areas that are known to have gold where you could search. The thick jungle will undoubtedly be a challenge here for the average prospector though.
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