Overview

  • According to statistics of the first six months of 2015, mining is the third biggest contributor to GDP and has high growth rate of 8.15%.
  • Vietnam is endowed with a wide variety of mineral with over 5000 deposits of more than 60 types of minerals being discovered, including bauxite (7% of the world’s reserves), rare earths, tungsten, titanium, phosphate, coal and iron-ore, mineral construction materials.
  • Vietnam is the third largest mineral producer in SE Asia. The country has a wide variety of mineral deposits however it is dominated by its coal production with 200 coal mines and total reserves of almost 8 billion tons.
  • Vietnam currently produces zinc, nickel, bauxite, coal and manganese, and with the exception of coal, the majority of current mining projects in the country are small or medium in scope.
  • The Vietnamese mining industry is dominated by the state-owned Vietnam Coal and Minerals Industries Corporation (Vinacomin), and has been preparing for a number of major new underground coal mine projects.
  • The new Mining Law has been effective since 2012 including the Directive No 02/CT-TTg and Decree No 15/2012/ND-CP detailing the implementation of the mining law. The law requires mining companies to include downstream processing and higher value production in the mining licence application, whilst providing a more transparent business and operational environment.
  • The country has world class reserves of bauxite, titanium, iron ore and chromite. It also has various other minerals; copper, gold, phosphate rocks, rare earths, limestone and tungsten.
  • Vietnam is in the top 40% of economies globally when considering the importance of mining to the economy.
  • Vietnam’s power plan it aims to build more than 70 new coal-fired power stations by 2030 and it is therefore anticipated that economy will move from being a net exporter of coal to a net importer.
  • Over the last several years Vietnam has witnessed an increase in foreign investments, resulting in increased exploration and the expansion and commissioning of new bauxite, copper and gold projects.
  • Vietnam wishes to 1. improve the geological information available by carrying out surveys, 2. promote a mineral processing industry within the economy 3. ban the export of ore in order to create more economic value for the Vietnamese economy.

Projects

Major Mineral Producers

  • A number of major mining operations have been successfully commissioned recently, such as:
  • Asian Mineral Resources’s Ban Phuc Nickel Mine and processing plant
  • Masan Resources’s Nui Phao Mine and processing plant
  • Vinacomin’s Tan Rai bauxite and alumina plant

In addition to expansions to existing operations including:

Vinacomin Coal (24 open pit, 30 UG)
Sin Quyen Copper (copper, gold)
Masan Resources Nui Phao Tungsten, Fluospar, Bismuth, Copper
AMR Ban Phuc (foreign)
Besra Quang Nam
Tan Rai Aluminum
Quy Nhon Minerals
Thach Khe Iron Ore (Vinacomin)
Co Dinh Chromate project (Vinacomin AML)
Sinh Quyen Expansion project (2nd plant)
Ta Phoi Copper project (Vinacomin major shareholder)
Cao Bang Manganese project Underground mine (Danka Minerals)
Binh Phuoc Bauxite (An Vien group)
New Projects under Construction
Sin Quyen 2 Copper plant
Ta Phoi Copper mine and plant project
Co Dinh Chromite project
Thach Khe Iron Ore mine project
Nhan Co Bauxite and alumina
Tran Hong Quan Aluminium
Ban Phuc Smelter
Nui Phao Smelter
Ta Phoi Smelter
Sin Quyen Smelter
Metallurgical Co Ltd Aluminum
Vinacomin is the owner and major shareholders of minerals mining businesses and project including:
Sin Quyen Copper Complex
Ta Phoi Copper
Thanh Hoa Chromate
Thai Nguyen Zinc
Lam Dong Alumina and Bauxite
Nhan Co Alumina and Bauxite
Thach Khe Iron ore
Song Hong Energy Coal
Binh Thuan Titanium

Opportunities

  • Vietnam presents major opportunities for the processing and refinery industry along with mining technologies and services.
  • Canadian companies who consider entering the Vietnam mining market do so with a strategy of growing opportunities on a regional basis over a longer period of time.
  • It is critical to find the right partner who demonstrates his linked to a senior level of the Government. Finding the right partner can facilitated business success effectively and there are fewer competitive challenges than many other countries.
  • Vietnam is following a similar development path as China by easing business regulations and making structural reforms.
  • A SE Asia market entry strategy should include a partner in Viet Nam to cover the three linked countries including Laos and Cambodia. Vietnam is in the center of the region and offers easy logistics to cover off growth opportunities.
  • Consider attending the Mining Vietnam Exhibition and Conference March 31-April 1. The industry is well attended and quick to show interest in technologies that they have not seen.
  • There is a competent level of English spoken in business circles.

Challenges

  • Foreign investment in mining has been minimal and constrained by regulatory issues, investment and market access challenges.
  • A complicated transaction system, and a lack of transparency in the procurement process can make doing business difficult within the mining sector.
  • Language can also be a barrier to market entry however English is spoken.
  • As most other regional countries the government is considering the export of raw minerals by 2020. The reality is that not many countries will find it economically workable.

Overview of Philippines’ Mining Industry

Capital Manila
Largest city Quezon City
Official languages Filipino
English
Recognised regional languages 19 languages
Optional languagesb Spanish
Arabic
Ethnic groups(2010) 33.8% Visayan
27.7% Tagalog
9.8% Ilocano
6.8% Bicolano
5.1% Moro
3.1% Kapampangan
1.7% Igorot
1.4% Pangasinense
1.2% Chinese
1.1% Zamboangueño
1.1% Korean
6.8% others
Religion Christianity • Islam •Philippine religion •Buddhism
Demonym Filipino (masculine)
Filipina (feminine)
Pinoy (colloquial masculine)
Pinay (colloquial feminine)
Philippine (English)
Government Unitary presidentialconstitutional republic
President Benigno S. Aquino III
Vice President Jejomar Binay
Senate President Franklin Drilon
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno
Legislature Congress
Upper house Senate
Lower house House of Representatives
Area
Total 300,000 km2 (73rd)
115,831 sq mi
Population
2015 estimate 102,771,300 (12th)
GDP (PPP) 2016 estimate
Total $811.726 billion
Per capita $7,846
GDP (nominal) 2016 estimate
Total $369.188 billion
Per capita $3,568
Currency Peso (Filipino: piso) (₱)(PHP)

Overview

  • The Philippines is endowed with US$ 1.4 trillion in mineral reserves, including gold, copper, nickel, aluminum, and chromite. The mining potential is one of largest in the world; being second in in gold and third in copper resources. The country is also ranked top five in the world for overall mineral reserves, although less than 2% has received mining permits.
  • The Government has proposed to significantly raise taxes on the mining industry, and with national elections to be held in May 2016, the industry is waiting to see what the next administration’s policy will be when it comes to minerals development.
  • There is discussion to declare some jurisdictions as “mining-free” zones, both through local ordinances and national law.
  • The Philippine mining industry is promoting the passage of a rational and competitive mining fiscal regime that gives the government a fair share in mining revenues. It would allow for inclusive growth in host communities, and give investors security and allows them a fair and reasonable return on their investments.

Projects

Number of Existing Mines
18 Nickel mines
5 Gold mines
4 Copper mines (with gold silver & zinc)
3 Chromite mines
1 Magnetite mine
1 Nickel Processing Plant
1 Copper Processing Plant
2000+ Sand and gravel, and other non – metallic small-scale mines
Main Mining Companies
Atlas Consolidated Mining Carmen Copper, Mine
Philex Mining, Padcal Mine Operation & Boyongan Copper, Gold
Lepanto Consolidated Moning Co. Mankayan Gold
Nickel Asia Corporation, Rio Tuba, and Cagdianao Nickel
Benguet Corporation, Acupan Gold and Sta Cruz Nickel
Filminera/CGA Mining Masbate Gold Project;
Oceanagold, Didipio Copper-Gold Mine
Sagittarius Mines Inc. Tampakan Copper-Gold Project
Gold Fields/Lepanto Far Southeast Copper-Gold Project
Atro Mining Intex/Mindoro Nickel Nickel laterite, rare earths
Philsaga Mining, Co-O Gold Project
Asiacicus Management Corp Pujada Nickel Project
TVI Resources Ltd. Balabag Polymetallic Project
Nadecor, Kingking Copper Project
FCF Minerals, Runruno Gold Project
Pacific Nickel Philippines Inc. Nickel Project
B2Gold/Filminera Resources Corp. Gold

Opportunities

  • The Philippines is a stable democracy, English speaking, with a long history of mining and relationships with Canadian engineering and supply companies.
  • The economy is fundamentally sound with developed mining laws.
  • The Philippine mining industry has purchased from Canadian suppliers for more than 30 years and there is a great respect for Canadian expertise.
  • It’s critical to develop a local presence at an early stage. In some cases the solution is to find a regional partner to service a broader market area if they are experienced in several markets.
  • Always understand who the key EDC player is in the region you are expanding into. EDC offers guidance for Canadian mining suppliers and also major funding for mining companies on their new projects. Get you value into the equation as EDC spends Canadian dollars.
  • The Canadian Trade Commission Service is critical to building and implementing your strategy into a new market. Always introduce yourself to the TCS before doing business in a new country.

Challenges

  • The mining Industry has objected to draft legislation which levy’s an inordinately high tax rate that would make the country uncompetitive for foreign investments.
  • The government is proposing a ban on the export of unprocessed mineral ores similar to many other emerging countries.
  • The relatively high power cost and lack of power may make minerals processing uneconomical when compared to countries such as Indonesia.
  • The generally lower quality of nickel ore, coupled with the lower overall ore resources make the construction of expensive ferronickel or electric arc furnaces unfeasible.
  • The lower quality of locally produced coal and the non-availability of local coking coal is an obstacle whereas Indonesia has large quantities of both.
  • There is considerable illegal mining in some jurisdictions as local governments wield significant power including political insurgencies in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.
  • Investors are in a wait and see posture as Mining free zones being proposed, These proposed “no-go” zones would enlarge the areas closed to mining applications.

Overview of Mongolia’s Mining Industry

Overview

Mongolia offers one of the world’s true long term mining opportunities for Canadian Mining Suppliers with a stable democracy, and limited internal capacity for supporting its industry growth. The just signed Oyu Tolgoi underground mine project is looking for 2,000 suppliers to carry out the development program to spend $USD 1B each year over the next 5 years.

Mining Sector Overview 2015

  • There are over 8,000 individual deposits in Mongolia, containing a wealth of over 440 different minerals. Of these, around 600 deposits and outcrops have been fully explored and their extent determined.
  • These include over 180 gold deposits, 5 copper and molybdenum deposits, a lead deposit, 5 tin deposits, 10 steel iron deposits, 4 silver deposits, 42 deposits of brown and coking coal, 42 fluorspar deposits, 12 salt and 10 sodium sulphate deposits, 6 semi-precious stone deposits, 9 crystal deposits and over 200 deposits of minerals used in production of construction materials, as well as a wealth of rare-earth metals.
  • Over 200 deposits are already being exploited. The vast majority of currently active individual mining operations are in gold deposits, with copper, coal, salt and other minerals making up the remainder.
  • Mining is central to Mongolia’s economic ambitions with the giant Oyu Tolgoi mine run by Rio Tinto making up 44 percent of the country’s exports.
  • Mongolia is ranked second in the world in terms of copper reserves, with the Oyu Tolgoi copper deposit and the Erdenet mine.
  • The Erdenet copper mine, 1978, producing nearly 24 million tons per year with reserves r up to 40 years. This mine is 51% owned by the Mongolian Government and 49% by the Russian Government.
  • Mongolia is the largest exporter of coal to China, surpassing Australia and taking 34% of total share by volume in total Chinese coking coal imports. Coal has become a key export commodity in recent years, taking the lead from copper in terms of Mongolia’s biggest export.
  • Mongolia has recently taken a number of steps to demonstrate its commitment towards developing its resources, including the introduction of a new Foreign investment law, a reduction of gold royalties to 2.5%, and an end to a moratorium on giving out new licenses.

Oyu Tolgoi Mining Opportunity

In October 2009 the Government of Mongolia, Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto, reached a joint investment and development agreement for the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold deposit beginning operations at the end of 2012. After almost 6 years in the making, the deal represented a landmark moment for investment in Mongolia. The open-pit mine at Oyu Tolgoi has been in operation since 2013 and produces around 200,000 tonnes of copper a year.

An announcement just released by Rio Tinto, Government of Mongolia and Turquoise Hill Resources. Oyu Tolgoi is 66pc owned by Turquoise Hills, which is 51pc owned by Rio Tinto, the mine’s operator. The remaining 34pc of the mine is owned by the Government of Mongolia.

The Oyu Tolgoi mine will be the sector’s key growth driver and account for around one-third of Mongolia’s economy once the mine reaches full production capacity in 2021.

Underground Development

CEO in waiting Jean-Sebastian Jacques hailed the project as truly global with involvement of numerous international parties akin to the UN. "Long-term copper fundamentals remain strong and production from the Oyu Tolgoi underground will commence at a time when copper markets are expected to face a structural deficit."

Twenty international banks and financial institutions have agreed to provide financing of $USD 4.4B. The project will spend $USD 5.5B. The UG development has spent $500M to date Oyu Tolgoi will be the world’s largest and foremost gold and copper mine.

UG copper content is three times higher than the open pit at 1.66 %. The UG mine will produce 5,000,000 tonnes of copper concentrate when in production. Will become one of the 5 largest copper mines in the world with a life expectancy of more than 75 years.

Work Scope

  • The latest production technologies are being considered
  • Domestic companies are preparing supply standards and plans looking for international partners
  • Safety systems training and skills development according to global standards is critical to success
  • A focus is on women as part of the workforce
  • Considerable spending is in the area of transportation related expenses such as fuel and tires
  • An additional 200 kms of tunnel will be built to a depth of 1,300 meters
  • Five vertical shafts: 1,385m, 1,166m and 208 meters
  • Two horizontal shafts are planned each 7.5 kms long and 35m apart
  • An ore conveyor will be built in one of the horizontal shafts
  • Construction of the UG tunnels will take 5-7 years
  • A railway, road and air connections and a power plant are critical developments
  • The Innovation Council of Mongolia, Inner Mongolia Entrepreneurs, University of Mongolia and local businesses are interested in partnering with Canadian companies and institutions
  • The Ministry of Mining and a consortium of Canadian organizations and companies has signed a cooperation agreement to “strengthen capacity and organize training from 2016-2022

Benchmarking of Coal Reserves (Billion Tonnes)

Billion Tonnes
United States 240
Mongolia 164.9
Russia 158
China 115.8
Australia 77.2
India 60.8
Ukraine 35.4
Kazakhstan 31.7
South Africa 31

Benchmarking of Copper Reserves (Billion Tonnes)

Billion Tonnes
United States 150.4
Mexico 90.4
Mongolia 81.7
Australia 68
Peru 39.1
Chile 36.5

List of Strategic Mining Developments

Deposit Name Minerals Location Resources Present
Asgat Silver Bayan-Ulgii, Nogoonnuur 6402.6 thousand tons (351.09 g/ton Ag)
Boroo Gold Selenge, Bayangol 24.523 thousand tons of 1.6 g/ton Au
Baganuur Brown Coal Ulaanbaatar, Baganuur 600m tons
Burenkhaan Phosphate Khovsgol, Alag-Erdene 192.24m tons
Dornod Uranium Dornod, Dashbalbar 10 560 thous. tons
Erdenet Copper Molybdenum Orkhon, Bayan-Undur 1200m tons of 0.51% Cu, 0.012% Mo
Gurvanbulag Uranium Dornod, Dashbalbar 16467 thousand tons of 0.175% U308
Mardai Uranium Dornod, Dashbalbar 924.6 thousand tons of 0.119% U308
Nariin Sukhait Coal South Gobi, Gurvantes 125.5m tons
Oyu Tolgoi Copper molybdenum Dorngovi, Mandakh 10.63m tons oxide of 0.32% Cu, 0.011% Mo and 241.1m tons of sulfate of 0.53% Cu, 0.018% Mo
Shivee Ovoo Brown Coal Govisumber, Shiveegoi 646.2m tons
Tavan Tolgoi Stone Coal South Gobi, Tsogttsetsii 6420m tons
Tsagann Suvarga Copper Molybdenum Dornod, Mandakh 10.64m tons of oxide of 0.42% Cu, 0.011% Mo. 240.1m tons of sulfate
Tumortoi Iron Ore Selenge, Khuder 229.3 m tons of 51.15% Fe
Tumurtein Ovoo Zinc, Lead Sukhbaatar, Sukhbaatar 7689.4 thousand tons of 11.5% Zinc

Challenges

  • The mine has faced criticism from environmental groups because of its high water needs in what is one of the driest regions in the world. Lack of infrastructure
  • Low per capita income
  • Insufficiently developed regulatory frameworks and institutional constraints
  • Limited access to financing
  • Skills shortages
  • Calls for greater resource nationalism
  • Anti-foreign investor sentiment amongst the public

Overview of Indonesia’s Mining Industry

Capital Jakarta
Official languages Indonesian
Religion Officially recognised:
Islam
Protestantism
Catholicism
Hinduism
Buddhism
Confucianism
Demonym Indonesian
Government Unitary presidentialconstitutional republic
President Joko Widodo
Vice-President Jusuf Kalla
Legislature People’s Consultative Assembly
Upper house Regional Representative Council
Lower house People’s Representative Council
Area
Land 1,904,569 km2 (15th)
735,358 sq mi
Water (%) 4.85
Population
2015 estimate 255,461,700
2010 census 237,424,363 (4th)
Density 124.66/km2 (84th)
322.87/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2015 estimate
Total $2.840 trillion (8th)
Per capita $11,135 (102nd)
GDP (nominal) 2015 estimate
Total $895.677 billion (16th)
Per capita $3,511 (117th)
Currency Indonesian rupiah (Rp) (IDR)

Overview

  • The country is blessed with abundant world class deposits and a history of successful mining projects.
  • The mining sector has been one of the key sectors supporting Indonesia’s economic growth for a number of years. The sector makes a significant contribution to Indonesian GDP, exports, government revenues, employment, and perhaps most importantly, the economic development of the remote regions where mining operations are located.
  • A new more business friendly government has just been inaugurated and is offering hope to grow the industry.
  • Coal makes up for 9% of exports globally and 95% of exports from ASEAN. The country has a repository of coal equivalent to that of the US.
  • There are more than 500 mining projects and operating properties making the country the most important mining country in the region.
  • There are three large international mining companies with long term operating experience in Indonesia: Vale, Newmont & Freeport McMoRan.
  • Many Canadian mining engineering and supply companies are entrenched in Indonesia. There is a great respect and opportunity for Canadian services and supplies.
  • Canada’s Redpath has spent the past 32 years contracting at Freeport’s Grasberg mine and presently have 1200 workers on site. Redpath is developing the massive underground expansion plans which will grow UG production from 100K tpd to 200K tpd making it one of the largest and longest term underground mines in the world.

Projects

Agincourt Resources gold
ANTAM (Persero) nickel, bauxite, iron sand, silver, gold
Batutua Tembaga Raya copper
Freeport Indonesia copper, gold
Cibaliung Sumberdaya gold
Harita Prima Abadi Mineral bauxite
Koba tin
Newmont Nusa Tenggaragold silver
Nusa Halmahera Minerals gold
J Resources Asia Pasifik gold
Rio Tinto Indonesia gold
Sebuku Iron Lateritic Ores iron ore
Meares Soputan Mining gold
Vale Indonesia nickel
  • Adaro Energy is engaged in development of infrastructure, trading, logistics and power generation. Adaro also offers mining contractor services, materials hauling and workshop activities. Adaro is the largest coal mining operation in Indonesia and also the world’s largest truck/shovel mining operation in the world with 350 haul trucks and 22,000 employees. The company is presently developing a strategy to re-size its fleet with major expansion plans in the future.
  • Antam is an integrated, export-oriented, diversified state owned mining and metals company with operations located throughout the mineral rich archipelago of Indonesia. ANTAM undertakes all mining activities including exploration, excavation, processing, and marketing of nickel, ferronickel, gold, silver, bauxite and coal. The company develops joint venture partnerships with international companies to bring in expertise and capital.
  • Freeport-McMoRan Grasberg has begun mining their Block Cave mine and the Deep Mill Level Zone (DMLZ) project. Production commenced in 2015, evolving the mine from an open pit to one of the largest and long term underground mines of the future. Grasberg is the largest gold mine in the world and one of the largest copper mines. Freeport continues to look for the latest technologies to improve efficiencies and safety programs in their $17B expansion plans. There is a great need and interest for new technologies including automation, safety and environmental solutions that offer opportunities for Canadian supply and service companies.
  • BHP Billiton operates the Indomet coal project, a joint venture with Adaro Energy. This project consists of an estimated 774 million tonnes of coal reserves in five coal deposits, spread over an area of 865,000 acres.
  • Vale Indonesia since the 1970’s has developed and operates a lateritic nickel deposit on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Vale is listed in the top 100 companies in Asia with the highest sustainability performance. Vale is presently developing an in country smelting capacity to comply with Indonesian law.
  • Newmont operates Batu Hijau, a large, surface mine operation, primarily producing copper and small amounts of gold and silver. Originally discovered in 1990, commercial production began in 2000. The Batu Hijau mine is located on the island of Sumbawa. The company is presently developing plans to comply with in country smelting operations.
  • Asia Mineral Corporation, Bracken International Mining, Kupang Resources and Western Mining Network Ltd are all developing high grade manganese deposits in Indonesia.

Opportunities

  • Indonesia is the strongest potential in SE Asia for mining supply industry growth.
  • The Government regulating ore processing is encouraging investment in downstream value, as companies have announced investments in Indonesian based processing facilities.
  • Local representation for Canadian mining suppliers is a must. Strong industry service partners are available and looking for quality mining solutions
  • Always understand who the key EDC player is in the region you are expanding into. EDC offers guidance for Canadian mining suppliers and also major funding for mining companies on their new projects. Get you value into the equation as EDC spends Canadian dollars.
  • The Canadian Trade Commission Service is critical to building and implementing your strategy into a new market. Always introduce yourself to the TCS before doing business in a new country.
  • Comprehensive mining intelligence reports are available and are considered an important early step to developing strategy into the SE Asia region.

Challenges

  • The country is dealing with restrictive mining legislation enacted during a period of low mineral prices. In 2009 the Indonesian government carried a law that restricted the sale of raw ore out of the country. In 2014 the law took hold and the result was a calamitous shake up of the nickel, copper and gold industries.
  • Presently the mining industry is working with the government to find compromise solutions to keep mining. There is light at the end of this tunnel as the majors have or are near agreements to keep their properties mining. Although the present situation is serious there is every reason to believe that the Indonesian mining industry will project a strong forecast of growth.
  • Resource nationalism is being discussed at a level consistent with many emerging countries.

Overview of Laos’ Mining Industry

Capital Vientiane
Official languages Lao
Recognised national languages French
Spoken languages Lao
Ethnic groups (2005) 55% Lao
11% Khmu
8% Hmong
26% others
Religion Buddhism
Government Marxist-Leninistone-party state
President Choummaly Sayasone
Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong
General Secretary Bounnhang Vorachith
Legislature National Assembly
Area
Total 236,800 km2 (84th)
91,428.991 sq mi
Population
2014 (Jul) estimate 6,803,699(104th)
2005 census 5,621,000
Density 26.7/km2 (177th)
69.2/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2014 estimate
Total US$34.400 billion
Per capita US$4,986
GDP (nominal) 2014 estimate
Total US$11.676 billion
Per capita US$1,692
Currency Kip (LAK)

Mining Activity

  • 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.

Projects

Number of Projects
Prospecting 20
Exploration stage 38
Feasibility study 3
Mining 35
Total 96
Prospecting stage
Copper and zinc 9
Iron 7
Gold and bauxite 4
Total 20
Exploration stage
Gemstone projects 11
Tin projects 9
Gold 6
Iron 6
Copper and potassium 6
Total 38

Feasibility study stage
Gold 1
Coal 1
Bauxite 1
Total 3
Operating Mines
Government owned 13
Foreign managed 12
Total 25

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

Opportunities

PanAust

  • 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.

Sepon

  • 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.

Challenges

  • 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.