NA asks government to regulate small-scale mining projects

Published on July 18, 2013

The NA asks the government to formulate regulations to govern small-scale mining and mineral extraction project

The National Assembly has asked the government to formulate regulations to govern small-scale mining and mineral extraction projects, after learning that some such operations cause serious environmental impacts.

The NA’s Vice President Dr Xaysomphone Phomvihane, representing the parliament representatives, made the suggestion on Friday at the ongoing 5th ordinary session of the NA’s 7th legislature. In addition, the parliamentarians told the government to inspect and put stricter measures in place by revoking contracts or stopping operations of any mine projects whose contractors failed to comply with the laws and regulations on mining and other relevant laws.

Dr Xaysomphone, who presided over the Friday session, said, notably, those small-scale mining and mineral extraction projects using methods which leach chemical substances causing environmental impacts have become “an emerging issue” in many provinces. According to him, the NA members voiced their opinion that mining excavation causes environmental impacts affecting the lives of the people.
There have been several issues emerge in relation to mining projects, notably many contractors fail to follow agreements and commence operations after being granted approval from the government.

In light of such issues, the government decided in June last year to suspend approval for mining projects, which includes gold and copper projects until 2015 as it is seeking to bring the current projects under proper management first.

It is disclosed by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Bounthavy Sisouphanthong the government will revoke any projects whose contractors do not take action to operate the project after being given permission.

Source: LNTV Lao News in English