Lane Xang Minerals Limited Sepon Mine celebrated a gold pour this week, marking the beginning of a new gold era for the operation.
The resumption of gold production will extend the life of Sepon mine for at least another ten years and will continue to generate employment, incomes, and improved livelihoods for the host communities.
LXML will continue to contribute to the socio-economic development of Laos through projected production of around 250,000 ounces in gold doré annually, and increased investment in exploration and other growth projects.
The Gold Pour Ceremony, held on 23 June 2020, was witnessed by Vice Governor of Savannakhet Province Mr. Thonekeo Phoutthakayalath, Governor of Vilabouly District Mr. Khamphoui Sibounheuang, LXML President Mr. Fu Xuesheng, LXML General Manager Mr. Paul Harris, and representatives from the company and relevant provincial and district offices.
“Today is another significant milestone in LXML Sepon’s transition from a Copper-focused business to a Gold-focused business. The successful pouring of our first gold doré symbolizes a positive gold future for LXML Sepon, its employees, host community and stakeholders” said Paul Harris, LXML General Manager.
“Despite some of the challenges we faced, including the Covid-19 pandemic in Laos, we have been able to commence gold production well ahead of schedule thanks to the hard work of our employees, and the continuous support of the Lao Government.”
Since operation commenced in 2002, Sepon mine has produced over 1.2 million ounce of gold and 1 million tonnes of copper cathode; contributing over US$1.5 billion in direct revenue to the Lao PDR in taxes, royalties, and dividends. Indirect benefits through employment, training, community development, and payments to local contract partners and suppliers have also had a significant positive impact on social and economic development.
The mine created jobs for over 5,000 employees at its peak in 2003, and invested millions of dollars in employee development and training. More than 14,000 people in Vilabouly have benefitted from our community development program totalling US$13 million worth of projects and investment, and community income through local business groups has accumulated to US$32 million.
LXML Sepon suspended Gold Operations in December 2013, due to declining gold reserves and a low gold price.
The resumption of gold operations will ensure that benefits continue to flow, and continue to establish a strong socio-economic foundation throughout the life of the mine, and for life beyond mine closure.