Members of the the I2M Natural Resources Group (consisting of Michael D. Campbell, I2M’s EVP and Chief Geologist, Roger W. Lee, I2M’s Senior Associate, and M. David Campbell, I2M’s VP and Senior Mining Geologist, just published a paper on the mining potential southwest of Hanoi, Vietnam in the Đồi Bù District, Hòa Bình Region (here). The area was visited during January, 2014. The key conclusions of the assessment were that subject area has not been explored in any detail for many decades. The Chinese (pre-1900s), and then later the French (pre-1960s), conducted basic reconnaissance and produced the early maps of the area. During the 1960s and 1970s, the USSR explored the area in some detail via outcrop sampling programs and some drilling, but many sites within the area of interest remain poorly investigated and untested. The general area has received only superficial investigation to date of the obvious fracture zones and associated shallow geological structures. Since the late 1980s, the Vietnamese Geological Survey and associated universities have undertaken the systematic assembly and cataloging of all available geological, geophysical, and mining information on the reported minerals present in Vietnam, almost all of which is in Vietnamese.
Based on the samples taken from outcrop, evaluated, and tested at an international laboratory, the authors have concluded that the subject areas have an unusually high potential for world-class ore bodies of precious and base metals present at shallow depths (<600 m).
Based on sampling of the tailings at the Cam Vao Processing Plant near Cam Ram, the associated tailings pond, and adjacent creek, all three areas contain high concentrations (in environmental terms) of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead. An environmental assessment was recommended on and around the processing plant extending to and including the associated downgradient rice paddies.