The Nui Phao W-F-Cu-Au-Bi deposit is located in one of the poorest regions of northern Vietnam. The deposit is currently undergoing a pre-feasibility study by Tiberon Minerals Ltd., with a view to developing what would be the largest WO3 mine and one of the five largest fluorite mines in the world. The project is being planned in close compliance with World Bank and national guidelines for environmental and social protection. Development of the mine is anticipated to bring the following benefits: remediation of serious pre-existing environmental conditions (natural and anthropogenic heavy metal contamination and acid rock drainage); provision of employment and training, and thereby wealth, to local communities; significant tax and royalty payments to government, which will be reinvested as social spending; and development of municipal and industrial infrastructure to build sustainable post-mining communities. The role of governments at all levels is critical in guiding and facilitating this process. This paper was written prior to development of the mine, and relays the intentions of the developers. Future studies will be needed to evaluate the degree of attainment of sustainable development objectives, both during mine operation and after closure.

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