New Centre to Provide Mineral Analysis Services

Vientiane Times, 8 August 2012

Mineral analysis can now be performed in Laos after the opening of the Geological Prospecting, Exploration and Mineral Analysis Service Centre (GMASC) in Vientiane on Monday.

With a total investment of US$20 million by Sino-Glory Resources Holding Company of China, the centre aims to offer services for companies in Laos who don’t want to send samples from their mining projects to other countries for analysis because of the extra cost and time taken.

GMASC is a comprehensive geological and minerals service centre integrating minerals with energy exploration and development, analysis and testing, reserves evaluation and technical consulting.

The centre was set up jointly by the Department of Geology and Minerals, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Laos and Sino-Glory Resources Holding Company of China.

The cooperation period is 15 years and can be extended twice, with each extension period being 10 years.

Deputy Director General of the Geology and Minerals Department, Mr Khampha Phommakaysone, told Vientiane Times on Tuesday that the centre not only aimed to offer services to mining companies in Laos but also aimed to conduct geological prospecting, exploration and mineral analysis for the government.

The government can use the information analysed by the centre for future development.

Currently, the government has allowed the centre to conduct mineral prospecting, exploration and analysis in three zones covering several districts in Xieng Khuang, Xekong, Saravan and Attapeu provinces.

The centre is the only comprehensive, multifunctional, high-standard national level analysis and testing centre with extensive research capacity in Laos.

The GMASC owns various international lead-level analysis instruments such as the latest ICP-AES and AAS, and boasts a full range of quality management which strictly follows ISO17025 international laboratory accreditation standards.

The centre can provide a sample analysis service for various rock ores, soil, natural water, and other mineral products. The centre has its own consultation team and has the capacity to provide a complete geological exploration service from design through explora tion to assessment.

The four-storey building that houses the GMASC centre began construction in 2009, covering an area of 3,300 square metres.

The centre can serve as a place to train Lao technical officials as well as facilitate human resource development in the country. Mining is one of the main income earners in Laos. Mining operations now cover about 23 percent of the country’s total land area.

Since 1998, the government has approved 4,470 investment projects worth US$24.4 billion. The biggest investment is in the mining sector, which amounts to about US$5.5 billion, followed by hydropower development (US$5 billion) and the agriculture sector (US$2.6 billion).





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