I was struck by a recent article on VietnamNetBridge here
which noted how the Bong Mieu Gold Company’s mine in Quang Nam province was attacked by over 500 people from the surrounding villages.
According to the short article online, the incident started when a young man (aged 19) tried to sneak into the dumping ground to collect some ore.
He was handed over to local police by security guards and was then taken to hospital for injuries from an electric taser stick.
This sparked off more widespread unrest and the story notes that ‘hundreds of extremists used the case as a pretence to attack and rob five tons of ore from the Bong Mieu Gold Company’.
Vietnam is a country endowed with magnificent natural resources.
While the country has benefited from fast paced growth, prosperity is not even and a great deal of poverty is concentrated in rural and remote areas.
Vietnam has only recently opened up to foreign investment in the mining sector.
I was struck by this article and concerned that unless companies find meaningful ways to engage with the surrounding community and find ways to make sure that remote communities also prosper, I fear we will be seeing many more such stories in the future. Photo from VietnamNetBridge.