Dominion Lao Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Australian mineral company Kingsgate Consolidated Limited, expects to spend about 8 billion kip (US$1 million) on mineral exploration in the next 12 months in Xayaboury province. It will include studies of stream samples, soil samples and geological mapping, according to the company’s presentation during the grand opening of the Dominion Lao offices on Thursday in Vientiane.
“Currently we are conducting a study of copper and iron ore, which started three months ago, after the company got government approval earlier this year,” a Dominion Lao technical advisor, Mr Chamrat Sangsrichan, said at the ceremony.
“The project covers an area of around 490 square km in the province,” Mr Chamrat.
Dominion Managing Director, Mr Brendan Bradley, said “the company has employed senior and junior Lao geologists, logistics officers and office staff to work on the project.”
The study will take around six years to determine its investment and development potential.
“If the area is suitable for development, we will see if the investment structure will be driven by individuals or as a shared investment with the Lao government,” Mr Chamrat said.
The Investment Promotion Department Director General, Mr Houmpheng Souralay, said Kingsgate Consolidated Limited has been in Laos exploring for mineral resources and investment opportunities since 2008, and has since signed agreements with the Lao government for the development.
Kingsgate will run community support pro-grammes, such as funding the provincial hospital and district and village development.
“The direct local support we provide to the villages also includes employment, health and technical assistance,” Mr Bradley said.
Kingsgate has a strategic advantage with a specialised knowledge of the geological, political and business culture of South East Asia developed over 15 years of operation in the region.
Kingsgate is a renowned gold mining, development and exploration company, traded on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX code: KCN). It owns and operates a gold mine in central Thailand and the Challenger Gold Mine in South Australia. It’s also undertaking a feasibility study on a silver and gold project in central Chile.
Photo Credit: Lao Voices