Advertisements
//
you're reading...
Mining & Energy

Laos seeks Chinese help to survey its mineral wealth


Sepon Mine, Laos

Sepon Mine, Laos

Laos is seeking help from the Chinese government to conduct detailed surveys of its mineral wealth, aiming to use the information to help regulate the mining industry.

Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Somboun Rasasombath said as quoted in the South China Morning Post this week that he would discuss the matter with Chinese Deputy Minister of Land and Resources, Wang Min, at the China-ASEAN Mining Co-operation Forum in China.

“A lack of knowledge about our mineral wealth meant it was difficult for us to challenge our investors, even if we suspected some of them were lying about the amount of work they had done and the resources they had found,” Rasasombath said.

“My advice to would-be investors is that they’d better conduct their own geological work before purchasing any projects.”

The Lao government only has a rough idea of the locations of many mineral deposits, since it lacks the resources to conduct detailed prospecting and has to rely on preliminary geological surveys conducted many years ago by countries such as France, Russia, China and Britain.

Less than 5 % met contractual exploration commitments to the government.

The government of Laos suspended approvals of new mine exploration licences in June last year until 2015 saying it needs to review the investment licences it has allocated to mining firms.

Rasasombath said less than 5 per cent of the 355 mining projects that have been granted mining licences in Laos have met their contractual exploration commitments to the government.

Many of the companies are trading and investment firms, which are sitting on their exploration licences waiting for their projects to be bought out by others at a premium.

“Most of these firms have done a poor job in delivering their promises, while some have caused environmental damage and affected the livelihood of our communities,” Rasasombath said.

Some firms have managed to extend the validity of their exploration licences to more than 10 years, although they are supposedly not extendable after six years, as Vientiane has taken an accommodative attitude in the past to encourage more investments.

The existence of a large number of unexploded cluster bombs in Laos, dropped during the Indochina war, means investors have to spend money to clear them before mining.

“Our government has approved too many projects in the past, which our regulatory resources cannot cope with,” Rasasombath said. “We also need to improve laws related to mining and better train our staff to thoroughly review all 355 projects on their progress.”

Mining contributes 9 % of Laos’ GDP and 20 % of the government revenue

Laos has ample resources of gold, copper, iron ore, potash, lead, zinc and sapphires.

Vice President Hao Chuanfu of the state-owned China Minmetals Non-ferrous Metals, the parent of the Hong Kong-listed MMG, said MMG had no new exploration projects in Laos but would seek to expand on its Sepon copper mine.

The mine’s output grew 7.1 per cent last year to 85,150 tonnes. With sales of US$806 million and operating profit of US$491 million last year, it contributed 9 per cent of Laos’ gross domestic product and 20 per cent of the government’s revenue.

Source: Vientiane Times – Laos seeks Chinese help to survey its mineral wealth
 
 
Advertisements

About Political Atheist

Living in South East Asia (Vietnam & Cambodia). At the ending/starting point of the more than 1000 year old SIlk Road.

Discussion

One thought on “Laos seeks Chinese help to survey its mineral wealth

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Posted by OyiaBrown | May 16, 2013, 4:27 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements

Type 407 Training Visas

Get An Australian Diploma

Learn How To Sell Real Estate To Chinese Buyers

Sell Your Real Estate To Chinese Investors

China Daily Mail

China Daily Mail is not affiliated in any way with The China Daily or the government of the People's Republic of China.

Enter your email address to receive an email each time an article is published, or join our RSS feed. 100% FREE.

Want to write for China Daily Mail?

Read "Contributor Guidelines" above to join our team of 68 contributors. Write news or opinion about issues in China, or post photos and video. Promote your own site.

Recent Posts

China Daily Mail Stories Have Been Featured In:

%d bloggers like this: