A “kick-off” workshop was held in Vientiane Lao PDR on the 17th May to mark the start of a World Bank Project named; the Acquisition and Development of Geo-data infrastructure within selected areas in Lao PDR. A consortium of IGS, GTK (Finnish Geological Survey) and PGW (Patterson, Grant & Watson) was awarded the tender for this project which will last until the end of 2017. The project involves the acquisition of high-density geophysical data followed by geological mapping of the same area of about 2000 km² in the north-central part of Lao PDR. The role of IGS will be primarily to conduct the geological mapping and training, and to assess of the mineral resources of the area, as well as assisting in the management of the project.
The May workshop held in Vientiane was attended by representatives of the various consultants (IGS, PGW, GTK), sub-contractors (SGL), the Ministries of Energy and Mines, Natural Resources, and Defence, as well as from the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Geographic Department. IGS was represented by Frik Hartzer. At the meeting the basic program and scheduling was discussed with the emphasis on the geophysical survey which is to start as soon as the necessary permits are obtained. Geological mapping will start as soon as the results of the geophysical survey becomes available. This project marks the beginning of a new chapter in the development of the Lao geological infra-structure, as well as the involvement of IGS in Asia.