|Recognised national languages||French|
|Ethnic groups (2005)||55% Lao|
|Prime Minister||Thongsing Thammavong|
|General Secretary||Bounnhang Vorachith|
|Total||236,800 km2 (84th)|
|91,428.991 sq mi|
|2014 (Jul) estimate||6,803,699(104th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2014 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2014 estimate|
- Recently, Laos was ranked as one of the most resource-rich countries in Asia. More than 570 mineral deposits have been identified, including gold, copper, zinc and lead.
- During 2012, the mining and quarrying sector’s contribution to GDP was 7.0%; during this reporting year.
- Reserves include: gold 500 tons, copper 8 million tons and zinc 2 million tons
- The mining sector accounts for 12% of government revenues and 10% of national income with 80% of foreign direct investment.
- Mining exports contributed 45% of the total exports of the country. In particular, the Sepon mine and the Phu Kham mines have contributed to 90% of the total mining production in the country.
- Bauxite and Alumina are extracted from the Bolaven Plateau jointly with firms from Australia and China.
- Copper, gold, and silver are being extracted by the MMG Ltd in the Sepon mine and Pan Aust Ltd in the Phu Kham mine.
- The Lao government has clear strategies and policies to promote mining in Laos in order to stimulate economic development and to eradicate poverty.
|Number of Projects|
|Copper and zinc||9|
|Gold and bauxite||4|
|Copper and potassium||6|
|Feasibility study stage|
|Main Working Mines in Laos|
|Lane XangMinerals Sepon (copper)||Australia|
|Phu Bia Mining PhuKham (gold)||Australia|
|Lao-Korean TinMines N/D (tin)||Laos|
|Padeng Industry Public Co.Ltd Kayso (zinc)||Thailand|
|Phialat Gold Panning Phialat (copper)||Laos – China|
|Lao Intl Trade and Service *Houaixay (sapphire)||Laos|
|Gypsum MiningCo.Ltd* N/D (gypsum)||Laos|
- PanAust has reported strong March quarter production and cost performances at its Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai operations in Laos.
- Looking forward, PanAust expects a near 25% increase in annual copper production from a 2014 base with no further development capital expenditure. Production is expected to continue to rise steadily over the next several years as the average copper head grade increases and improving ore quality lead to further gains in metallurgical recovery rates.
- PanAust also ensures the economic and social benefits of its operations are shared with key stakeholders in Laos, including the government and host communities, through employment, training and development, and a broad range of community development programs.
- The Phu Kham operation comprises a large open-pit mine feeding ore to a process plant with recovery of copper and precious metals into a saleable concentrate using conventional flotation technology. The final product is a copper-gold concentrate grading about 22% to 25% copper, 7 grams/tonne gold and up to 60 grams/tonne silver.
- MMG Limited operates the Sepon Copper Project in Savannakhet province, has completed a restructure to ensure it will continue to deliver strong returns
- Sepon achieved an annual production record of 90,030 tonnes of copper cathode in 2013, exceeding guidance of 85,000 tonnes. The company expects to produce 93,000 tonnes of copper cathode at Sepon in 2014.
- Institutional capacity is weak and the licensing process is time-consuming and complex. The Lao government is trying to remove constraints by improving investment laws and mining laws, and upgrading institutional capacity.
- The government is proposing a ban on the export of unprocessed mineral ores similar to many other emerging countries.
- Detailed information from geological maps regarding mining deposits, mining reserves and mining quality is lacking.