Base metals mining company MMG is pleased to announce the graduation of 37 Lao community members in Certificate III qualifications from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
The community members are part of a program established by MMG and RMIT to provide skills to community members living around the Sepon copper and gold mine in the Savannakhet Province, Laos.
The program aims to increase the skill level of local community members and their capacity to undertake skilled jobs on site. It is part of MMG’s ongoing commitment to the sustainable development of the mine’s local community.
The graduates received the qualification in one of seven trades - carpentry, fabrication, refrigeration, mechanics, electrics, automotive or instrumentation – following four years of studies and at least one year of on-the-job training at the Sepon mine. The qualification is equivalent to that undertaken by apprentices in Australia.
The study component of the program included an annual 28-day intensive training course, run by RMIT trainers at the purpose-built Trades Training Workshop facility on site. The on-the-job training element involved working alongside, and being mentored by, maintenance supervisors and tradespersons. Successful graduates have all secured employment at the mine.
BounGneun Phonenavongdeuane, from Vilabouly District, gained her certificate in refrigeration and will work with the mine’s maintenance department. She said that graduating with a high qualification was very important for her.
“It will bring many changes for my future, especially related to my performance in the job I do,” she said.
Fellow graduate Viengkham Maphangvong, also from Vilabouly District, trained as a carpenter.
“I was very proud to be one of the local community members selected to join this high-standard study program. I would like to thank the company for providing an excellent training scheme for local people,” he said.
The achievements of the apprentices were recognised at a graduation ceremony that took place at the mine on 24 November. It was attended by family members of the graduates as well as local officials, company employees and representatives from RMIT.
The partnership between the Sepon mine and RMIT has been in place since 2006, with the first 16 apprentices and employees graduating last year.
MMG is a global resources company that mines, explores and develops base metal projects in Australia, and around the world. The company is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange through Minmetals Resources Limited (Stock Code: 1208).
MMG currently operates the Century, Golden Grove and Rosebery mines in Australia and the Sepon mine in Laos. MMG’s development pipeline includes several major undeveloped zinc-copper deposits and significant exploration projects and partnerships in Australia, Asia, Africa and North America.
BounGneun Phonenavongdeuane receives her certificate from Mr Chris Barnes (Head of School – Engineering RMIT) and Mr Khamphoun Touphaitoun (Director of Savannakhet Provincial Education Service).