The Energy and Mining Department of Laos said the total value of the country’s mineral exports in 2007 was more than 538 million dollars, generating over 1,169 billion kips in revenues from exports duties for the government, an increase of 432 billion kips from 2006.
That included total exports from 109 companies working in 171 projects in Laos; however, the largest share came from the Sepon Gold and Copper Mines of Australia’s Oxiana Resources, which totaled more than 520 million dollars in 2007.
Scores of foreign companies are currently working in more than 200 mining projects in Laos. That number is likely to increase, especially after China completes a geological survey and mapping of central and southern Laos, which is expected to be the end of this year.
Two Chinese and Thai companies have recently announced a joint-investment in bauxite mining in southern Laos with a Lao private company.
International environmental groups have expressed concerns about the impacts the mining will have on the livelihood of the Lao people. But Lao officials said they are serious about meeting safety standards and will strictly follow the guidelines of the government.
Listen to our Laos Today for details.