Phu Bia Mining hoping to extend concession in Xaysomboun

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Phu Bia Mining Company Limited hopes to continue their concession for an open-pit mine in Anouvong district, Xaysomboun province, which will come to an end in 2021.

The company has extracted samples from a new exploration site for analysis with the results to be known by early next year. A feasibility study and discussions with the Ministry of Energy and Mines will then take place to see if the project can proceed further.

The new exploration site, currently being researched, is located within the existing Phu Kham Copper-Gold Operation contract area.

According to the company, if they can extend their concession in Xaysomboun province, it would benefit the government’s revenue collection via tax payments from the operation.

Since Phu Bia Mining began operations in Laos in 2006, the company has made cumulative contributions of nearly 6,248 trillion kip (US$716 million) to the government.

Last year alone, the company made over 573 billion kip (US$86.35 million) in direct contributions to the government through customs excise, payroll tax, royalties, concession fees, road tax, dividends and profit tax.

Meanwhile, the company has indirectly contributed to Laos via public road infrastructure with improvements and maintenance of sections of the Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai transport and haulage routes in Xaysomboun province and others.

Phu Bia Mining Chairman, Mr Chanpheng Bounnaphol, briefed the media during a site tour this week on the company’s production assets of the Phu Kham Copper-Gold Operation (Phu Kham) and Ban Houayxai Gold-Silver Operation in Xaysomboun province. Both sites are located in the company’s 2,600 square-kilometre Phu Bia Contract Area.

Last year, Phu Kham produced 83,680 tonnes of copper in concentrate and 70,787 oz of gold while Ban Houayxai Gold-Silver produced 108,570oz of gold and 666,628 oz of silver.

The company has also created over 3,200 jobs, with 90 percent of the workers being Lao nationals. Apart from direct employment opportunities, the company has trained unemployed women to grow organic vegetables which are sold to the company to generate income for their families.

Along with its mining operations, Phu Bia Mining has also supported community development such as building schools and hiring teachers to teach students during school vacations, as well as building toilets, community dispensaries and other facilities.

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