Laos authorities allows Chinese agency to dig uncommon earth minerals, locals concerned

Villagers in northeastern Laos have voiced concerns over dropping their land to a Chinese firm that was just lately accredited by the Southeast Asian government to dig for uncommon earth minerals. A authorities supply says some displaced villagers will receive compensation.
Although the Lao Ministry of Plans and Development signed an agreement on January 21 allowing the Tong Lee Seung Industrial Development Company to excavate a three sq. kilometre area in the Phaxay district in Xieng Khouang province, and another 25 square kilometres of land might now be examined that’s owned by residents for farming and grazing livestock.
One villager told Radio Free Asia on the condition of anonymity that nobody knows what goes to happen to the locals’ land, although the Chinese are still performing a survey and haven’t began excavating. Another villager stated the Chinese company has now encroached on 6 hectares of his grazing land.
Another villager claimed the challenge would cost some cropland for them, citing they don’t even know what minerals the Chinese will be digging and do not know who to go to for compensation.
According to a Lao official, corporate representatives are already negotiating compensation for villages that may lose essential land on account of the challenge, whereas the exact variety of households affected is unknown.
How-to are nonetheless in talks with the native villagers, and when the survey is finished in 12 months, they’ll signal a separate contract to do excavations.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Lao Ministry of Minerals and Mines stated the ministry will quickly draft a model new decree to manage the extraction of rare earth minerals in Laos in order to defend villagers from the adverse results of the initiatives, adding that it is still waiting for a government meeting to course of it.
Rare earth minerals are used in the manufacture of high-tech objects, including cell phones, computers, satellites, and aerospace know-how. China controls a large portion of the international mineral commerce, and Laos signed agreements with 19 companies to conduct mining exploration for gold and silver last yr..

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