Vietnam has completed a geological survey and mapping of northern Laos, discovering up to 117 new mineral deposit sites. Lao officials said they will use the new map as a basis for considering new mining concession requests.
Experts from the Geology Department of the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment have performed the geological survey in an area of approximately 60,000 square kilometers in five northern provinces of Laos, including Bokeo, Luangnamtha, Oudomxay, Phongsaly and Luangprabang.
The survey began in 2002 in 158 areas of northern Laos and found 117 new sites of mineral deposits rich enough, they believe, in silver, gold, copper, iron, zinc and tin ore, to warrant further exploration and investment.
Laos has already approved more than 200 mining projects for Lao and foreign companies, including the Sepone copper-gold project by Oxiana Resouces and Phou Bia gold project by Pan Australian Resources.
China is also doing a geological survey and mapping of potential mineral deposits in central and southern Laos, similar to what Vietnam did,.
Listen to our Laos Today for more details in Lao.