Laos expects to earn USD 463 million in the final quarter of this year from mineral sales both domestically and for export, after earning USD 1.464 billion in the first nine months of 2021.
Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Sonexay Siphandone told the National Assembly last week that the value of mineral sales this year is expected to exceed targets by over 15 percent, Vientiane Times reports.
Minerals produced in the first nine months of the year were valued at LAK 12.601 trillion (USD 1.18 billion), while the figure for the whole year will reach LAK 15.889 trillion, according to Dr. Sonexay.
There are 124 mining companies operating 209 projects including exploration and processing of minerals, with 14 companies now constructing new facilities, says the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
From 2021 to 2025, Laos is expected to produce mineral products valued at USD 7.832 billion, increasing by four percent from the previous five years.
The Lao government has allowed foreign and domestic investors to undertake mining operations since 1990, with mineral resource deposits found at over 570 locations across the country.
Mining operations now excavate gold, copper, zinc, potassium, limestone, and lead.
The government hopes to increase the country’s mineral processing capacity to reduce the number of raw minerals exported, adding value by exporting processed minerals.
Mineral and mining projects in Laos cover a land area of over seven million hectares throughout the country or over 30 percent of the total land area.
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