Ministry Orders Temporary Suspension of Mining Activities, Hydropower Construction

Mining and Hydropower, natural resources

The Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines has ordered the temporary suspension of mineral processing plants and hydropower construction projects under a new notice issued yesterday.

The notice, signed by Vice Minister of Energy and Mines Thongphat Inthavong, orders the temporary closure of factories and processing plants following the announcement that an employee of Phu Bia Mining Limited had tested positive for Covid-19.

Plant workers are to remain on-site and will be prohibited from traveling to local areas or returning to their villages. They are to receive extra training in the prevention and control of Covid-19, and any employees exhibiting symptoms are to be isolated.

The notice requests that strict social distancing protocol be instituted at mining and hydropower sites, with workers to stay two meters apart at all times, while workplaces are to be sprayed and disinfected.

The notice states that any claims regarding financial losses are to be reported directly to the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

A man from Papua New Guinea tested positive for Covid-19 in Laos yesterday, making him the eleventh case confirmed in the country.

The man had traveled to Laos from his home in Papua New Guinea via Singapore on 22 March, then transited through Thailand on 23 March, before staying at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Vientiane Capital. From there he traveled to work at Phu Bia in a minivan with eleven other passengers.

The notice, issued by the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines dated April 5, 2020, is to take effect immediately.