LXML Sepon Mine Supports UXO Clearance in Lao PDR
March 01, 2021
At Sepon mine UXO clearance is an integral part of mining operations. The bombing of Laos delivered a deadly legacy and Sepon mine is located in one of the most bombed areas in the country.
Lane Xang Minerals Limited (LXML) Sepon mine recently extended a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lao Ministry of Defence. This long-term partnership supports UXO clearance around Sepon mine and enhances technical capacity for the benefit of future generations.
The MoU was signed by Colonel Viengxay Xaiysamone, Director General of the Engineering Department and Mr Songlin Zhang, LXML Mine Technical Service Manager; and witnessed by Lieutenant Colonel Patthana Boutichack, Cabinet Deputy Chief of the General Staff Department and Mr Saman Aneka, LXML Managing Director, on 26 February 2021.
“This partnership supports safe UXO clearance in accordance with National Regulatory Authority standards” said Mr Viengxay Xaisamone, Director General of the Engineering Department, Ministry of Defence. “We are building on decades of cooperation with LXML to achieve best practice in UXO clearance and disposal.”
LXML, the Lao Ministry of Defence, the National Regulatory Authority (NRA), and the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao) have worked together for a decade to improve standards.
In 2015, LXML and NRA developed accredited explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) training to build capacity for Lao technicians with internationally recognised qualifications. Since 1996, LXML has invested over US$51 million, cleared 5,700 hectares and destroyed 58,500 UXO items.
LXML and NRA are continuing to invest in innovative technologies to improve UXO detection. The Ultra-TEM II Deep Bomb Detection System, for example, can locate UXO buried up to 3.5 metres underground. LXML continues to enhance the Gap EOD Fixed Loop Electromagnetic (FLEM) detection method, and recently purchased handheld Vallon VMX-10 detectors.
“We are removing dangerous obstacles that hinder development in Laos,” said Mr Saman Aneka, Managing Director, LXML. “We are keeping communities safe by enhancing capacity, investing in equipment, improving techniques, and raising awareness with our partners and communities. LXML is very grateful for the ongoing cooperation of the Lao Ministry of Defence, NRA, and UXO Lao in carrying out this hazardous activity.”