Lane Xang Minerals Limited (LXML) Maintains Strong Gold Production in 2022

August 09, 2022

In the first half of 2022 to June 30, Sepon Mine produced 102,468 ounces (2.905 T) of gold doré and 3,933 tonnes of copper, an increase of 15 per cent from the same period in the previous year.

in 2021, total production at Sepon was 192,988 ounces (6.003 MT) of gold, and 5,341 tonnes of copper.

LXML contributed US$40,843,028.09 in direct revenue to the Lao Government in respect of 2021 earnings in royalties, taxes, and dividend.

Since production commenced in 2003, Sepon Mine contributed over US$1.6 billion in taxes, royalties, and dividends, in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in employment, training, community and local business development. The mine employs approximately 5,000 local people.

“I am proud of the excellent contribution of LXML employees in achieving production targets,” said Mr Wang Jianhua, Chairman of Chifeng Gold, during a visit to Lao PDR in July to outline the company’s growth plans. “Chifeng LXML is a proud partner in development in the Lao PDR.”

During meetings with Dr Xaysomphone Phomvihane, President of the National Assembly, Dr Sonexay Siphandone, Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Bounkham Vorachit, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr Bounchom Oubonpaseuth, Minister of Finance, Dr Daovong Phonekeo, Minister of Energy and Mines, and Mr Santiphab Phomvihane, Savannakhet Governor, Mr Wang reaffirmed Chifeng’s commitment to investment in Lao PDR to build new gold, copper, and rare earth projects.

“All enterprises seek long-term development, and this is best achieved through cooperation with local authorities and solid teams with a common stake,” said Mr Wang. “Our investment in new projects will benefit Lao people and the government. I am very proud of LXML’s success in employment, training, community development, and revenue contributions.”

Chifeng Jilong Gold Company Limited owns a 90 per cent share in Lane Xang Minerals Limited (LXML), which owns and operates the Sepon mine in Savannakhet Province.

In July 2022, Chifeng Gold entered into an historical cooperation agreement with Lao Mining Development State Enterprise (LMD) to extend exploration and development of mineral resources to develop large-scale future production in Lao PDR.

“This landmark agreement highlights Chifeng’s enduring commitment to development of the mining sector in Lao PDR,” said Mr Paul Harris, General Manager.

In April 2022, LXML donated US$5 million to the Savannakhet Provincial Government to support an upgrade to Route 28A, a critical logistics route to expand the East-West growth corridor linking Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam. This investment will enhance opportunities for trade and tourism in the region.

In May 2022, LXML commenced construction of the first modern underground mine in Lao PDR. With a resource of 9.5 million tonnes, and projected ore production to increase from 400,000 tonnes in 2023 to 1.2 million tonnes per annum thereafter, Discovery Deeps Underground Mine will extend Sepon’s mine life for another seven years, to 2030, contributing to sustainable development in host communities.

“Sepon has witnessed thousands of years of mining history,” said Mr Harris. “This new development, combined with modern equipment and advanced mining techniques will transfer knowledge and skills to Lao employees – Lao mining professionals – to set new standards for underground mining.”

Lane Xang Minerals Limited is the only mining operation in the Lao PDR consistently rated A+ by the Ministry of Energy and Mines for its commitment to social and economic development, health and safety, environmental protection, and maintaining international standards.

LXML is continuing to invest in training and development. Up to June 2022, LXML provided 23,000 training hours to Lao employees through internal, external, on-the-job training, and overseas study. In the second half of 2022 LXML will reinstate its popular Trade Apprenticeship Program targeting local communities, as well as Supervisor and Leadership Development programs to upskill Lao employees.

Diversity and Inclusion of LXML’s workforce remains strong, with representation of 24 per cent female employees and 95 per cent Lao Nationals (80% from Vilabouly District and Savannakhet Province).

Employment opportunities at Sepon mine are connected to technical roles associated with exploration and development of the underground project, with engagement of over 300 Lao employees in 2022.

The COVID19 pandemic presented significant challenges to health and safety, logistics and operations. LXML liaised closely with health authorities and the Lao Government at district, provincial, and central levels to ensure the protection of local communities and employees. With the cooperation of Savannakhet Provincial Health Department, LXML employees and contractors received multiple doses of COVID19 vaccines. LXML contributed almost US$500,000 to the Lao Government’s COVID19 prevention measures, including support for quarantine facilities, PCR machines, and medical supplies.

Sepon’s community development program focuses on food security, education, and health. Through targeted support for disadvantaged communities in livelihood, water, sanitation, irrigation, and other infrastructure projects, LXML lifted Vilabouly District out of the category of a poor district, exceeding the government’s poverty alleviation targets. The company has supported the establishment of a water supply (Nam Papa) system in Vilabouly District, local hospitals, clinics, schools, and scholarships.

“LXML is building better livelihoods for future generations,” said LXML Managing Director, Mr Saman Aneka. “To date, the company has invested US$11 million in Vilabouly District through the community trust fund, and over US$49 million in income generation for local business groups. LXML is investing in Lao people to develop sustainable livelihoods and improve opportunities for the future.”

Aerial view of Sepon operation before sunset