Falling prices and rising costs put a stop to mining of the precious metal at a site in southern Laos.
The land is wanted for an airport project in a casino-driven economic zone.
MRC officials disagree on whether Laos should be required to consult its neighbors on the hydropower project.
Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand want a say on whether the project will proceed.
A Lao official says construction on the project is expected to proceed this month.