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Post Info TOPIC: Mineral export value set to climb as prices rebound

Mineral export value set to climb as prices rebound

Mineral export value set to climb as prices rebound
Vientiane Times, 20 Nov 2009
The value of mineral exports this year is expected to surge 10 percent
compared to last year, thanks to the rebound of international prices
for metals.
Director General of the Ministry of Energy and Mine's Mining
Department, Mr Thongphat Inthavong, told the Vientiane Times on Monday
that the value of mineral exports will reach US$700 million because
the prices of gold and copper have started to rise.
The gold price on the world market hit US$1,000 per ounce in mid
September, and for a short period last week cost US$1,100 per ounce.
According to the London Metal Exchange, copper grade A was trading at
US$6,760 per tonne yesterday.
At the end of last year the price of copper was US$3,500 per tonne,
down US$4,500 from October 2007, while gold was traded at US$815 per
ounce, falling from US$977 in the middle of 2008.
Large-scale mining projects include the Sepon Copper and Gold Mine in
Savannakhet province and the Phu Bia Mining Limited copper and gold
mines in Vientiane province.
“So far investment in the mining sector is good, prices of metals are
good and production capacity has also expanded,” Mr Thongphat said.
MMG LXML expects to produce over 100,000 ounces of gold this year in
Laos , helped by high international prices for the precious metal.
MMG LXML stands for the Minerals and Metals Group Lane Xang Minerals
Limited Sepon operations.
According to the company's quarterly reports, in the first three
quarters of 2009, gold production in ounces was 26,423, 29,306 and
19,679 ounces respectively.
In October, the Sepon gold operation was able to produce 6,833 ounces
of gold, making production of gold for the year to date 82,241 ounces.
The operation's plan for producing gold in 2009 is still on track for
a full year result of over 100,000 oz.
MMG LXML's copper production saw a capacity increase from around
64,075 tonnes per annum last year to a forecast of 67,500 this year.
Mr Thongphat said investment in the mining sector is increasing this
year and the number of domestic and foreign companies that invest in
the area continues to soar.
The number of companies has increased from 137 last year to 154 firms
this year, managing 266 projects.
118 firms are managed by foreign investors.
49 projects are underway and the remainder are in the stages of
survey, exploration and economic feasibility study.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, mining ranked
second in total investment value with funding of about US$3 billion
from 2000 to 2009, behind the electricity sector, which topped the
list with total investments of US$11.7 billion.
This year investment in the mining sector looks set to take first
In the first nine months of the year the mining sector has seen a
major increase in investment with approved funding of US$2.2 billion.
This pushes investment in electricity to fourth place. The service
sector ranks second and the agriculture comes third.



That's good news.

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