Phu Bia Mining celebrates 10 years of achievements with Phu Kham Copper-Gold Operation

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - At the end of 2017, Phu Bia Mining gave the Lao government over US$600 million in direct financial contributions, a significant support to the government’s budget, a senior official at the company said.

Speaking at a cocktail function in Vientiane on Tuesday evening to mark the 10th anniversary of its flagship Phu Kham Copper-Gold Operation, the company’s Chairman, Mr Chanpheng Bounnaphol, said the company was proud of  “over half a billion dollars in direct economic contributions, hundreds of millions of dollars spent with Lao and Lao-based companies”.

He also said that the biggest contribution is one that the company cannot easily calculate. “It is the contribution made to the lives of ordinary people,” he said, adding that the young men and women who gained new skills are as good as anyone in the world.

Mr Chanpheng also said Phu Bia Mining had made a genuine contribution in helping the Lao government and implementing its development agenda.

The Phu Kham Operation officially opened on May 9, 2008. Together with the nearby Ban Houayxai Gold-Silver Operation, Phu Bia Mining has cumulatively produced 690,197 tonnes of copper in concentrate, 1,352,252 ounces (oz) of gold and 9,530,722 oz of silver.

The company recognises the importance of this government revenue. In 2017, the Lao government received a dividend benefit of US$10.5 million from Phu Bia Mining. This figure included a US$3.3 million cash dividend payment. Another US$2 million cash dividend payment was made to the government of Laos in April 2018.

Through physical asset expenditure and exploration, Phu Bia Mining has invested a total of US$1.4 billion in Laos. Additionally, the company has spent over US$60 million on public road infrastructure and maintenance along Phu Bia Mining’s logistics route and regional roads which are in close proximity to is operations.

The company has delivered significant benefits to the communities closest to its operations. Through direct employment – 91 percent of its workforce in Laos are Lao nationals – and through community development.

Since 2008, about US$4.3 million has been invested in Community Development Fund projects. This encompasses 293 small-scale projects spanning the areas of education, health, agricultural development, small business development, microfinance and infrastructure.

Over the past decade, the company has received numerous international awards in sustainability. In addition, it has been awarded the Labour Order Medal Class 1 from the Lao government for its contribution to the country’s socio-economic development. 

Most importantly, the company was recognised by Asean for its performance in health and safety.

And because 91 percent of the company’s employees are local, its achievements benefit both Laos and its people.

At the event, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone, the Deputy Ministers of Energy and Mines, Finance, and Planning and Investment, as well as the Managing Director of PanAust, Dr Fred Hess, were present along with other invited guests.

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