Mining market in Laos

Industry highlights

Limited information available

Export Development Canada's position


Global exploration share


World Bank Ease of Doing Business score

Copper, gold and silver

lead the Lao PDR's mining sector

The Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) is gifted with natural resources of enormous untapped mineral resources deposits in over 570 locations across the country. Mining has been a key driver of economic growth since production first started in 2002. Since then, foreign investment helped develop rich mineral resources, which accounts for approximately 30% of total foreign direct investment in the Lao PDR. The government hopes to increase the country's mineral processing capacity to reduce the number of raw minerals exported and add value by exporting processed minerals. The 2011 mining moratorium is over, creating great opportunities for Canadian mining suppliers pursuing international business development in the Lao PDR.

Key opportunities for Canadian mining suppliers

Environmental protection and services

The Lao PDR is promoting investment in mining to boost revenue through the export of natural resources, while ensuring environmental protection. From 2021 to 2025, Laos should significantly increase production and the country wants to ensure that mining companies operate in accordance with environmental regulations. To meet these new environmental requirements, mine operators seek consultancy services to comply with all environmental protection regulations, and mining technology on:

Post-extraction assessment

The Lao PDR is a potash exporter surrounded by potash importers, but lack of technical expertise in both the government and current concession holders could create demand for Canadian technology upskilling and business partnerships. The many mines that are at the closure phase require expertise on post-extraction assessment. This creates demand for partnership and services for Canadian firms that are already operating here or in the region.

Productivity on site

The country is gearing up on mining investment promotion, and mining companies operating in the Laos PDR are looking to improve productivity and efficiency. Opportunities exist for Canadian mining supply and services companies offering artificial intelligence and autonomous equipment.

Notable challenges for Canadian mining suppliers in Laos

Laos' business landscape

Request a meeting

To learn more about the mining industry in the Lao PDR, contact Kalakate (Jimmy) Xaythanith (, Trade Commissioner, at the Office of the Embassy of Canada to Laos.

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