Photo: Duc Anh/Illustration
Revenue up in Q2 but falling commodity prices make their presence felt.
Masan Resources (MSR) has reported mixed business performance for the second quarter of 2016, with revenue rising but falling profit.
Total revenue of the mining arm of the Masan Group grew 2.5-fold year-on-year to VND939.3 billion ($42.2 million) in the quarter, while net profit was VND58.7 billion ($2.6 million), down 70 per cent.
Falling commodity prices are behind the decline in profit, according to MSR. In the first six months it produced 2,756 tons of pure tungsten and mined and processed 3,397 tons of ore.
MSR has recently held its first shareholders meeting since being listed on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM), where leadership positions were changed.
Mr. Chetan Prakash Baxi was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors for the 2016-2021 period. Mr. Baxi and Mr. Dominic Heaton were also named as the company’s legal representatives, replacing Mr. Nguyen Dang Quang, the founder of the Masan Group.
In late July the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) announced it would conduct an inspection of MSR’s Nui Phao mining project in northern Thai Nguyen province after claims of environmental pollution were made.
The ministry also asked the Nui Phao Mining Company, the project owner, to evaluate the impact of the project on the environment and the lives of local people. Based on the company’s report the ministry and local authorities will decide whether it is necessary to relocate nearby villages.
It also asked for plans for an automatic observation system for wastewater, under Decree No. 38/2015 from the government.
MSR announced that it is ready to welcome the inspection team and the media to the Nui Phao project. A press release on July 27 stated that the company has strictly complied with environmental rules in the process of exploiting the world’s largest Vonfram mine.
“When implementing the Nui Phao mine, we have set our standards based on the recommendations of the World Bank, called the Equator Principles,” said Mr. Craig Bradshaw, CEO of Masan Resources. “This is the gold standard for the development of the community and the environment around mining projects.”
Minister and Chairman of the Office of the Government Mai Tien Dung said on August 2 that the inspection of Nui Phao mine “is a normal activity conducted by agencies” and the final results “will be released after the inspection is completed.”
The Nui Phao mine was licensed in 2005 and has significant deposits of tungsten, fluorspar, bismuth and copper, and is the world’s largest tungsten mine outside of China. It covers an area of 9.21 sq km in Dai Tu district, Thai Nguyen province.
In 2010 Masan Resources acquired the project from Dragon Capital, a Vietnam-focused financial institution, and other stakeholders. The mine began commercial operations in the first quarter of 2014.
Prior to Dragon Capital, the project was owned by Canada’s Tiberon Minerals Ltd, with a 70 per cent holding. Due to the economic crisis at the time, Tiberon sold the project to Dragon Capital in 2007. Dragon also lacked the capital for the project and was forced to suspend it in 2008.
Masan Resources currently holds 63.4 per cent of the project’s charter capital. In the first quarter of this year it reported revenue of VND806 billion ($36.2 million) and a pre-tax loss of more than VND400 million ($18 million). Tungsten accounts for the highest proportion of Masan Resources’ revenue, reaching VND450 billion ($20.2 million).