23/02/2017 08:55 GMT+7 print

India in talks to buy part of VN tungsten mine

Nui Phao tungsten mine is located in the northern province of Thai Nguyen and has the richest reserve of tungsten minerals in the world, with a total capacity of about 66 million tonnes, equal to 33 percent of the world’s. 

Sources familiar with the matter told Indian media that a team from NMDC recently visited the Nui Phao mine and had initial discussions on the deal with Masan Resources. 

According to reports, NMDC is interested in buying a “considerable stake” in the mine, just as India’s government plans to purchase tungsten from the NMDC for national defence development. 

The final decision will be made after due diligence is completed. NMDC declined to comment on the deal, as the firm signed a non-disclosure agreement with Masan Resources, reports said. 

The Nui Phao Mining Co Ltd, the mining arm of Masan Resources and the owner/operator of the tungsten mine, neither denied nor confirmed the deal, saying that its details will be sent to local media later in the process. 

At the moment, India has to import tungsten to meet the domestic market demand. Mining for the metal is expensive and economically inefficient. 

The Nui Phao mine is run by Masan Resources, a member of the private-equity consumer goods producer Masan Group. The first shipment to buyers began in early 2014. 

However, the profitability of tungsten production in 2016 declined to 9.6 percent from 19.9 percent in 2015. In 2016, the company’s profit from tungsten production was 229 billion (10.18 million USD) – the lowest among three major mining business units. 

Resources is traded on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) with the code MSR. MSR closed up 14.2 percent to 16,500 VND per share on February 21, totaling a two-day increase of 25 percent.