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15 mining projects see concessions revoked

Source: Vientiane Times,5May,2017

Fifteen mining operations have had their concessions revoked after investors failed to implement their projects as agreed after they were granted concessions by the government.
Speaking at the ongoing ordinary session of the National Assembly last week, Minister of Energy and Mines DrKhammanyInthirath said “Some companies just held [concessions without implementing them] purely in order to resell them.”
The government suspended consideration of new mining projects a few years ago, saying it wanted to take steps to better regulate the mining industry after learning that a number of projects had failed to observe the agreements they had signed with the government.
DrKhammany said his officials began carrying out inspections in 2016 and found that almost 20 mining operations were not in compliance with the agreements and stood to lose their concessions.
The findings were submitted to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, which subsequently annulled the concessions previously awarded to 15 projects.
The fate of other projects that comply poorly with agreements is currently under consideration, DrKhammany added.
As of 2016, some 657 companies had been granted permission to carry out surveys and excavation as part of 942 projects. Of these, 226 companies had been authorised by the central government to undertake 392 projects.
Since 2003, when investment in mining began, until 2016, the sale value of mineral commodities exceeded US$13 billion with almost US$2 billion in taxes and royalties paid to the government, DrKhammany said.
He added that the mining sector had boomed and generated huge revenues from 2011-2016 driven by the spiralling of commodity prices on the world market, especially gold and copper, in 2012. The sale value of mining products from 2011-2016 hit US$8.8 billion with US$1.2 billion in taxes paid. Prior to that, from 2003-2010, the sale value of mining products was just US$4.3 billion with US$688 million paid in taxes.
DrKhammany said the sale value of minerals took a dive in 2016 when commodity prices on the world market slumped, including gold and copper.
In the first nine months of 2016, the sale value was just US$964 million, generating only US$41 million in taxes.
“The sale value [of mineral products] for the whole of 2016 was less than US$100 million. The sale value depends on the market price of minerals,” DrKhammany said.

Vietnamese investment in Khammuan booming

Source: Vientiane Times
Date: May 3, 2017
By Time Reporter
Over 20 new investment projects worth millions of US dollars have been proposed to Khammuan provincial authorities by Vietnamese entrepreneurs, pending official approval.
A senior official from the Khammuan provincial Department of Planning and Investment, MrXaysanaKhotphouthone, told Vientiane Times yesterday that Vietnamese investment is booming in Khammuan, notably in the mining sector.
“The 20 new proposals submitted by Vietnamese investors are mega projects worth millions of dollars and we are considering various aspects of their proposals, particularly funding,” MrXaysana said.
“There are two main reasons why Vietnamese are coming to invest here. One is that Khammuan has abundant mineral resources including potassium, lead and gold. The second is that Laos and Vietnam are neighbours, which makes the import-export process easier.” 
Vietnam is currently ranked the second largest foreign investor in Khammuan after China. So far, 19 investment projects worth over US$500 million have been carried out by the Vietnamese. 
Most of their investments are in the mining sector, particularly the excavation of potassium, lead and other minerals.
However, timber for export is one sector that has become unpopular since the province enforced the Prime Minister’s Order No. 15 issued on May 13. The order bans the export of all types of unfinished wood products including timber and logs, and is considered a significant move in the battle to clamp down on the illicit timber trade.
While the mining sector is increasingly popular among foreign investors in the province, agriculture has not grown as anticipated with only a few investors building factories to process crops for export.
Critics say it’s vital to create more favourable conditions and incentives to increase investment and exports in the agriculture sector as this would drive economic growth in the long run since minerals will one day be exhausted. 
In the recent past, investment from Vietnam decreased slightly as many entrepreneurs encountered financial difficulties, affecting the sector.
During the first visit made by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc last week in response to an invitation from his Lao counterpart MrThonglounSisoulith, the two premiers witnessed the signing of nine agreements.
One of those agreements was the signing of the VungAng seaport development joint venture in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province.
Deputy Head of the Khammuan provincial Administrative Office, MrVannavongVongphachanh, said minerals from Khammuan were mainly exported through the VungAng port to Vietnam and China.
This is the shortest route to a seaport from Laos. Since the opening of the third Friendship Bridge in November 2011, linking Thakhaek district in Khammuan province to Thailand’s NakhonPhanom province across the Mekong, more goods have been transported along this route.

What can be done to mitigate the harmful effects of mining?

Vientiane Times, November 7, 2016

Mining operations are proliferating in Laos but many of them are not utilising environmentally friendly practices, adversely affecting local communities and failing to comply with government regulations. Vientiane Times went to the National Assembly to ask members about their experiences of these issues in their home constituency.

New miners to come under scrutiny in Laos

Vientiane Times July 20, 2016

ໄຟ­ຟ້າ​ຫົງ​ສາ​ຈະ​ໃຊ້​ງົບ​ຮ້ອຍ​ກວ່າ​ຕື້​ໃສ່ 10 ໂຄງ­ການ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ

ໜັງສືພີມ ເສດຖະກິດ-ສັງຄົມ 02 ກຸມພາ 2016

ນັບ​ແຕ່​ໄຟ­ຟ້າ​ຫົງ​ສາ​ໄດ້​ເລີ່ມ​ດຳ­ເນີນ​ ກິດ­ຈະ­ການ​ເປັນ­ຕົ້ນ​ມາ​ບັນດາເທ­ສະ​ບານ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ​ເມືອງ​ເປົ້າ​ໝາຍ​ໃນ​ແຂວງ​ ໄຊ​ຍະ​ບູ​ລີ ໄດ້​ຮັບ​ການ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ຢ່າງ​ຕໍ່​ເນື່ອງ​ເປັນ­ຕົ້ນ​ລະ­ບົບ​ເສັ້ນ­ທາງ​ຄົມ­ມະ­ນາ­ຄົມ, ຫ້ອງ­ການ ຕ່າງໆ​ໂດຍ​ສະ­ເພາະ​ໂຮງ­ຮຽນ, ໂຮງ­ໝໍ​ມີ​ການ​ສ້າງ​ຂຶ້ນ​ໃໝ່ ຂະ­ນະ​ທີ່​ປີ​ນີ້ໄຟ­ຟ້າ​ຫົງ​ສາ​ຈະ​ໃຊ້​ງົບ​ຮ້ອຍ​ກວ່າ​ຕື້​ກີບ​ເຂົ້າ​ ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ​ເປົ້າ​ໝາຍ.

   ວັນ​ທີ 29  ມັງ­ກອນ​ຜ່ານ​ມາ ທີ່​ຫ້ອງ​ວ່າ­ການ​ປົກ­ຄອງ​ແຂວງ​ໄຊ​ຍະ​ບູ​ລີໄດ້​ຈັດ​ກອງ​ປະ­ຊຸມ​ຫາ­ລື​ກ່ຽວ​ ກັບ​ການ​ນຳ​ໃຊ້​ກອງ​ທຶນ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນໂຄງ­ການ​ໄຟ­ຟ້າ​ພະ­ລັງ​ຄວາມ​ຮ້ອນ​ ຫົງ​ສາ​ໃຫ້ 3 ເມືອງເປົ້າ​ໝາຍ ແລະ ເມືອງ​ເທ­ສະ​ບານ​ແຂວງ​ໄຊ​ຍະ​ບູ​ລີ​ຄື: ເມືອງ​ຫົງ​ສາ, ເມືອງ​ເງິນ,  ເມືອງຊຽງ​ຮ່ອນ ແລະ​ເທ­ສະ​ບານ​ແຂວງ​ໂດຍ​ການ​ເປັນ​ປະ­ທານ​ຂອງ​ທ່ານ ພົງ​ສະ­ຫວັນ ສິດ​ທະ​ວົງ ເຈົ້າ­ແຂວງໆ​ໄຊ​ຍະ​ບູ​ລີ, ມີ​ບັນ­ດາ​ເຈົ້າ­ເມືອງໆເປົ້າ​ໝາຍ, ຫົວ­ໜ້າ​ພະ­ແນກ­ການແລະ​ພາກ­ສ່ວນທີ່​ກ່ຽວ­ຂ້ອງ​ເຂົ້າ​ຮ່ວມ. ທ່ານ ພົງ​ສະ­ຫວັນ ສິດ​ທະ​ວົງ ໄດ້​ກ່າວວ່າ: ການ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ພື້ນ­ຖານ​ໂຄງ​ລ່າງ ແລະ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ​ບັນ­ດາ​ເມືອງ​ທີ່​ໄດ້​ຮັບ​ຜົນ​ກະທົບ​ໂດຍ​ທາງ​ກົງ ແລະ​ທາງ​ອ້ອມ​ຈາກ​ບັນດາ​ໂຄງ­ການ​ໃດ​ໜຶ່ງ​ແມ່ນ​ມີ​ຄວາມ​ຈຳເປັນ​ເພື່ອ​ສ້າງ​ ໃຫ້​ເມືອງ ແລະ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ​ມີການ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ດີ​ຂຶ້ນ​ກ່ວ​າ​ເກົ່າ, ແຕ່​ຕ້ອງເຂົ້າ­ໃຈ​ວ່າ­ການ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ນັ້ນ​ຄວນ​ເລັ່ງໃສ່​ບຸ­ລິ­ມະ­ສິດ​ອັນ​ໃດ ​ທີ່​ມີ​ຄວາມ​ສຳ­ຄັນຈຳ­ເປັນ​ທີ່​ຈະ​ເກີດ​ຜົນ​ປະ­ໂຫຍດ ແລະ​ເຫັນຈາກ​ສາຍ­ຕາ​ຂອງ​ສັງ­ຄົມ ເພື່ອ​ສ້າງ​ຄວາມເຊື່ອ​ໝັ້ນ​ໃຫ້​ພໍ່​ແມ່​ປະ­ຊາ­ຊົນ​ບັນ­ດາ­ເຜົ່າ.  ທ່ານ ພູ​ວັງ ກອງ​ຊັບ ຫົວ­ໜ້າ​ຫ້ອງການ​ຄະ­ນະ​ກຳ­ມະ­ການ​ຄຸ້ມ​ຄອງ ແລະ​ນຳໃຊ້​ເງິນ​ທຶນ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ​ໂຄງ­ການພະ­ລັງ​ຄວາມ​ຮ້ອນ​ຫົງ​ສາ​ກ່າວ ​ວ່າ: ໃນປີ 2016 ນີ້​ໂຄງ­ການ​ທີ່​ຈະ​ນຳ​ໃຊ້​ງົບ​ປະມານ​ເງິນ​ທຶນ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ​ບັນ­ດາ ເມືອງ​ເປົ້າ​ໝາຍ​ມີ​ທັງ​ໝົດ 10 ໂຄງ­ການ ລວມ​ມູນ​ຄ່າ​ທັງ​ໝົດ 1,88 ຮ້ອຍ​ຕື້​ກວ່າກີບ ໃນ​ນີ້ ໂຄງ­ການ​ປູ­ຢາງ​ອັດ​ສະ​ຟານ​ໃນເທ­ສະ​ບານ​ເມືອງ​ໄຊ​ຍະ​ບູ​ລີ​ມີ 3 ໂຄງ ການ​ມູນ​ຄ່າ 55,47 ຕື້​ກວ່າ​ກີບ, ເມືອງຫົງ​ສາ­ມີ 4 ໂຄງ­ການ​ກໍ່­ສ້າງ​ເສັ້ນ­ທາງ ເທ­ສະ​ບານ​ເມືອງ, ກໍ່­ສ້າງ​ຕ້ານ​ຕາ­ຝັ່ງເຈື່ອນ, ປັບ­ປຸງ​ເດີ່ນ​ກີ­ລາ, ກໍ່­ສ້າງ​ສະ­ໜາມຂີ້​ເຫຍື້ອ ມູນ​ຄ່າ 38,28 ຕື້​ກີບ, ເມືອງ​ເງິນມີ 1 ໂຄງ­ການ​ກໍ່­ສ້າງ​ຫ້ອງ​ວ່າ­ການ​ປົກຄອງ​ເມືອງ​ມູນ​ຄ່າ 1,89 ຕື້​ກີບ, ເມືອງຊຽງ​ຮ່ອນ 2 ໂຄງ­ການ ມູນ​ຄ່າ 14,23 ຕື້​ກວ່າ​ກີບ, ມີ​ການ​ກໍ່­ສ້າງ​ຕັດ​ຜັງ​ບ້ານໂຮມ​ໄຊ ທະ­ລຸ​ເສັ້ນ­ທາງ​ປາກ​ເປັດ​ຫາ​ຄົກເມີຍ ແລະ​ເສັ້ນ­ທາງ​ຮ່ອມ​ບ້ານ​ດອນ​ປຸງຫາ​ຮ່ອມ​ຜັ້ງ​ບ້ານ​ປາກ​ເປັດ.

ວິ­ໄສ​ທັດ​ ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ​ຂອງ​ໂຄງ­ການ​ເຂື່ອນ​ໄຟ­ຟ້າ​ນ້ຳ​ງຽບ 1

“ເສດຖະກິດ-ສັງຄົມ” 16 ພະຈິກ 2015

ການ​ສ້າງ​ອາ­ຊີບ ແລະ​ ຍົກ​ສູງຄຸນ​ນະ​ພາບ​ຊີ­ວິດ​ຄື​ວິ­ໄສ​ທັດ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາຊຸມ​ໃນ​ເຂດ​ກໍ່­ສ້າງ​ ໂຄງ­ການ​ເຂື່ອນ​ໄຟຟ້າ​ນ້ຳ​ງຽບ 1 ຊຶ່ງ​ແນ­ໃສ່​ສ້າງ​ຄວາມເຂັ້ມ­ແຂງ​ໃຫ້​ປະ­ຊາ­ຊົນ​ປະ­ມານ 3.000 ຄົນ ທີ່​ຈະ​ໄດ້​ຮັບ​ຜົນ​ກະ­ທົບ​ຈາກການ​ກໍ່­ສ້າງ​ເຂື່ອນ ທັງ​ນີ້​ທາງ​ໂຄງ­ການກໍ​ໄດ້​ປະ­ສານ​ງານ​ກັບ​ອຳ­ນາດ​ການ​ປົກຄອງ​ທ້ອງ­ຖິ່ນ ແລະ​ລົງ​ເຮັດ​ວຽກ​ຮ່ວມກັບ​ສະ­ມາ­ຊິກ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ ໂດຍ​ອີງ­ໃສ່​ແນວທາງ​ນະ­ໂຍ­ບາຍ​ຂອງ​ພັກ ແລະ​ລັດ​ຖະບານ ທັງ​ພ້ອມ​ປະ­ຕິ­ບັດ​ຕາມ​ມາດ­ຖານສາ­ກົນ​ໃນ​ດ້ານ​ການ​ອອກ​ແບບ ແລະ ຈັດ​ຕັ້ງ​ປະ­ຕິ­ບັດ​ການ​ຊົດ​ເຊີຍ ລວມ​ໄປເຖິງ​ແຜນ​ງານ​ປັບ­ປຸງ​ຊີ­ວິດ​ການ​ເປັນ​ຢູ່ໃຫ້​ແກ່​ຄົນ​ໃນ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ ເພື່ອ​ຮັບ­ປະ­ກັນວ່າ​ຊາວ­ບ້ານ​ທີ່​ຖືກ​ຍົກ­ຍ້າຍ​ຈະ​ມີ​ຊີ­ວິດ​ການ​ເປັນ​ຢູ່​ ທີ່​ດີ​ຂຶ້ນ​ກວ່າ​ເກົ່າ.

   ອີງ​ຕາມ​ການ​ສະ­ເໜີ​ຂ່າວ​ຂອງໜັງ­ສື­ພິມ ປະ­ຊາ­ຊົນ ສະ­ບັບ​ວັນ​ທີ 26 ຕຸ­ລາ 2015 ຜ່ານ​ມາ​ໄດ້​ລາຍ​ງານ​ວ່າ ໂຄງ­ການ​ກໍ່­ສ້າງ​ເຂື່ອນ​ໄຟ­ຟ້າ​ນ້ຳ​ງຽບ 1 ພວມ​ກະ­ກຽມ​ຍົກ­ຍ້າຍ​ປະ­ຊາ­ຊົນ​ທີ່ຄາດ​ວ່າ​ຈະ​ໄດ້​ຮັບ​ຜົນ​ກະ­ທົບ​ຈາກ​ໂຄງ ການ​ລວມ​ມີບ້ານ​ຫາດ​ຊາຍ​ຄຳ ແຂວງບໍ​ລິ​ຄຳ​ໄຊ ແລະ​ອີກ​ສີ່​ໝູ່​ບ້ານ​ທີ່​ຂຶ້ນ​ກັບເມືອງ​ຮົ່ມ ແຂວງ​ໄຊ​ສົມ­ບູນ ຊຶ່ງ​ຢູ່​ໃນ ຂອບ​ເຂດ​ທີ່​ຕັ້ງ​ໂຄງ­ການ​ເຂື່ອນ​ໄຟ­ຟ້ານ້ຳ​ງຽບ 1 ແລະ​ຄາດ​ວ່າ​ຈະ​ຖືກ​ນ້ຳຖ້ວມ​ພາຍ­ຫຼັງ​ການ​ກໍ່­ສ້າງ​ເຂື່ອນ​ໄຟ­ຟ້າສຳ­ເລັດ​ໃນ ​ປີ 2018 ສຳ­ລັບ​ເຂື່ອນ​ໄຟ ຟ້າ​ນ້ຳ​ງຽບ 1 ແມ່ນ​ມີ​ກຳ­ລັງ​ຕິດ​ຕັ້ງ 290 ເມ​ກາ​ວັດ ໃນ​ນັ້ນ​ກະ­ແສ​ໄຟ­ຟ້າ ປະ­ມານ 93% ຈະ​ຖືກ​ສົ່ງ​ຂາຍ​ໃຫ້­ການໄຟ­ຟ້າ​ຝ່າຍ​ຜະ­ລິດ​ແຫ່ງ​ປະ­ເທດ​ໄທ ສ່ວນ​ທີ່​ເຫຼືອ​ຈະ​ຂາຍ​ໃຫ້​ບໍ­ລິ­ສັດ​ໄຟ­ຟ້າ ລາວ.

ຢ່າງ­ໃດ​ກໍ​ດີ ເພື່ອ​ເຮັດ​ໃຫ້​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ​ໄດ້ຮັບ​ຜົນ​ກະ­ທົບ​ໜ້ອຍ​ທີ່​ສຸດ​ຈາກ​ການ​ດຳເນີນ​ ໂຄງ­ການ​ດັ່ງ­ກ່າວ ຈິ່ງ​ມີ​ການ​ວາງ ແຜນ ແລະ​ດຳ­ເນີນ​ງານ​ຕ່າງໆ​ກ່ຽວ​ກັບການ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ​ທັງ​ນີ້ ທ່ານ ນິ​ລັນດອນ ຖາ­ວອນ​ສຸກ ຫົວ­ໜ້າ​ທີມ​ງານ ດ້ານ​ການ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ຊີ­ວິດ​ການ​ເປັນ​ຢູ່ຂອງ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ​ໃນ​ເຂດ​ໂຄງ­ການ​ ເຂື່ອນໄຟ­ຟ້າ​ນ້ຳ​ງຽບ 1 ກໍ​ໄດ້​ເປີດ­ເຜີຍ​ວ່າ “ໄດ້​ມີ​ການ​ສະ­ໜອງ​ທຶນ​ໃນ​ເບື້ອງ​ຕົ້ນ ແລະ​ຊ່ວຍ​ຊາວ­ບ້ານ​ກະ­ກຽມ​ໜອງ​ປາ ແລະ​ເນື້ອ­ທີ່​ສຳ­ລັບ​ເຮັດ​ການ​ຜະ­ລິດໄປ​ພ້ອມ​ກັບ​ການ​ຝຶກ​ອົບ­ຮົມ​ ປະ­ຊາ­ຊົນໃຫ້​ຮູ້​ວິ­ທີ​ປູກ​ຜັກ ແລະ​ລ້ຽງ­ສັດ ເພື່ອເປັນ​ອາ­ຫານ ແລະ​ເປັນ​ສິນ­ຄ້າອີກ​ທັງໄດ້​ນຳ­ພາ​ປະ­ຊາ­ຊົນ​ໄປ​ທັດ­ສະ­ນະ​ສຶກສາ​ບັນ­ດາ​ ໂຄງ­ການ​ພັດ­ທະ­ນາ​ຕ່າງໆ​ທີ່ມີ​ຮູບ​ແບບ​ຄ້າຍ­ຄື​ກັນ ເພື່ອ​ໃຫ້​ເຂົາ­ເຈົ້າເຂົ້າ­ໃຈ  ແລະ​ສາ­ມາດ​ນຳ​ໃຊ້​ຄວາມ​ຮູ້​ທີ່ໄດ້​ຮຽນ​ໄດ້​ເຫັນ​ມາ​ ເພື່ອ​ນຳ​ໃຊ້​ເຂົ້າໃນ​ການ​ຜະ­ລິດ​ກະ­ສິ­ກຳ​ອັນ​ຈະ​ນຳລາຍ​ໄດ້​ມາ​ໃຫ້​ຄອບ­ຄົວ ແລະ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ”.

Xekong villagers disturbed by gold diggers

Vientiane Times, September 11, 2015.

People in two villages of Xekong province are troubled as gold diggers are using toxic materials to separate the gold from ore deposits. Villagers fear there are serious risks of illness not only to them but also the gold miners because of the unsafe practices. People have posted a letter on social media begging the relevant sectors to take control of the gold diggers in the two villages of Dakpong and Dakchang in Dakcheung district, Xekong province.

Vietnamese companies to mine rock salt in Khammuan

Vientiane Times 17 August 2015

Two Vietnamese companies have inked a deal for a joint venture rock salt mining project in Khammuan province, with an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract signed in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Friday. Vietnam Chemical Group (Vinachem) and Vietnam Lao Chemical and Rock Salt Limited Company (Vilachemsalt) signed the EPC contract for the US$450 million Lao-Vietnamese project to process salt in Khammuan province.

Authorities revoke 23 mining licences

Vientiane Times, 3 June 2015

A total of 23 mining companies had their business licences cancelled after failing to explain to the Vientiane authorities about their lack of commercial operation. The Vientiane Energy and Mines Department has told these companies to suspend excavation for rhyorite and limestone in Vientiane.

Energy, mining output value declines

Vientiane Times, March 16, 2015

A summary report released by the Ministry of Energy and Mines on Friday indicates that the output value of Laos’ energy and mines sector dropped in the first quarter of this fiscal year (2014-15). The ministry’s summary noted that production value in 2014-15 was only 4.22 trillion kip (about US$527.71 million), down 16 percent compared to the same period in the last fiscal year. The report noted that the energy sector generated more than 3.07 billion kWh, about 11 percent down on the same period last fiscal year.“The energy sector has gone down 11 percent while mining has dropped 17 percent,” the ministry reported.

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