On 17 February 2012, MMG LXML Sepon was awarded a First Class Labour Medal in recognition of its solid contribution to poverty eradication and community development in Vilabouly District. The medal was presented to LXML Director, Mr Saman Aneka, by the Vice President of the Lao PDR, H.E Bounngang Vorachit.
The medal was presented to recognize the company’s contributions to community development in Vilabouly district, where the mine is located.
Around half of the approximately 5500 people who work at the mine are from Vilabouly; creating opportunities for paid employment has been one of the mine’s most significant contributions to the district. The majority of local community members are Mon–Khmer or Phou Thai speakers, and the mine has invested heavily in providing them with skills training and professional development opportunities. In 2011, the company spent more than $400,000 on traineeships and apprenticeships specifically for Vilabouly residents.
In addition, between 2008 and 2011, more than US$3.3 million was invested in community development projects related to water and sanitation, health, education, agriculture and small business development. The mine has spent a further US$2 million on essential community infrastructure since 2003.
About US$4 million has also been invested in Vilabouly through the Sepon Development Trust Fund. As of 2012, the company has increased its annual contribution through the Trust Fund to US$750,000, up from $500,000 in previous years.
H.E. Bounngang Vorachit, Vice President of the Lao PDR, presenting a certificate and First Class Labour Medal to Mr Saman Aneka, Director of MMG LXML Sepon
The medal was presented at an official ceremony held at the Savannakhet Provincial Administration Office. Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Souphan Keomixay, Governor of Savannakhet Province, said that the company has made good progress with its community development programs, and is encouraged to continue those efforts. The company should work closely with the Government to help eradicate poverty in Vilabouly district, he said.
Mr Saman Aneka said that “MMG LXML Sepon is privileged to be able to work alongside local communities in Vilabouly. The company has always looked for ways to ensure that our community-related programs truly reflect the needs of our host communities.”