Lane Xang Minerals Limited Sepon Mine Marks New Gold Era

On 23 June 2020, Lane Xang Minerals Limited (LXML) Sepon Mine celebrated its first gold , 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 Lao PDR through projected production of around 250,000 ounces in gold doré annually, and increased investment in exploration and other growth projects.

Vice Governor of Savannakhet Province Mr Thonekeo Phoutthakayalath (5th from left), Governor of Vilabouly District Mr Khamphoui Sibounheuang (4th from right) hold the first two gold doré bars to mark the resumption of Sepon’s gold operation. The ceremony was led by LXML President Mr Fu Xuesheng (3rd from right), LXML General Manager Mr Paul Harris (5th from right), and LXML Processing Manager Mr Khonesavanh Vansana (2nd from left back).

The Gold Pour Ceremony 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 concerned provincial and district offices.

“Today is another significant milestone in LXML Sepon’s transition from a Copper-focussed business to a Gold-focussed business.  The successful pouring of our first gold doré symbolises 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 these 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.

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