(KPL) Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining, commonly known as Chifeng, the new owner of Lane Xang Mineral Limited’s Sepon mine on Aug 31 presented two ambulances and emergency rescue tools valued at US$100,000 to the Rescue Foundation of Savannakhet Province and the Vilabouly Distric Hospital.
The handover of the assistance package took place on the sidelines of the Introductory Dinner Reception to present Chifeng, its senior management, and technical experts to high level officials of local authorities and key stakeholders.
The event was witnessed by Savannakhet Governor Santiphab Phomvihane, and more than 40 key provincial department leaders, local business partners.
“We are committed to continue our predecessor’s legacy in contributing to socio-economic development in the Lao PDR at all levels,” said Mr Lv Xiaozhao, Chairman of Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Co Ltd. “Today marks our initial step. This support is not only symbolic, but truly reflects our practice and commitment to the safety and wellbeing of the local people and communities.”
MMG Limited agreed to sell its 90% interest in LXML, which owns the Sepon Gold –Copper mine, to Chifeng for US$275 million in June 2018. The new company owner was also introduced to the Central Government and stakeholders in Vientiane on July 18.
Sepon’s current oxidized copper operation has a projected mine life to around 2020. However, the mine life has the potential to be extended as a primary copper and gold operation, so MMG initiated a strategic process in relation to its interest in Sepon mine in October 2017, with a view to transferring the mine to a gold and copper focused company, like Chifeng, which is better suited to realising Sepon’s future as a primary gold and copper operation.
“Chifeng is confident it can extend Sepon’s copper production, and meanwhile will carry out study and resume gold production to further extend Sepon’s mine life” said said Mr Lv Xiaozhao. “This will be a great outcome to the communities, government, shareholders, and the employees.”
“I truly expect that Chifeng will actively provide continuous support to the local host communities where MMG has delivered, in the future,” said Mr Khamphoune Touphaythoune, Vice Governor of Savannakhet Province. “In addition, I anticipate that the company will further take on the challenge of mine closure in a professional and appropriate manner, which will serve as the first example in the Lao PDR.”
LXML Sepon produced its first oxide gold in 2003, commencing large scale copper operations in 2005 and to date has produced over 900,000 tonnes of copper and over 1.2 million ounces of gold.
The Sepon mine operation has contributed over US$1.4 billion in direct revenue to the Lao Government and hundreds of millions of dollars in local procurement, community development, education and training since production commenced. LXML will continue to maintain its sustainable operation and community projects close to the mine.