Strong production figures for the first quarter of 2012 gave a positive start to the year at MMG LXML Sepon, the gold and copper mine in Savannakhet. The results build on achievements in 2011, which was a record year for the mine, with more than US$206.6 million generated for the national budget.
Copper production at Sepon continues to benefit from the successful commissioning of the expanded copper plant in 2011, with 19,758 tonnes produced in the first quarter of 2012. This was 7% above the corresponding period in 2011 despite 29% lower copper ore mined, reflecting improved operation efficiencies including the installation of replacement anodes in the copper cell room.
On 30 April, LXML’s management and directors presented a cheque to Ms Manivone Insixiengmai, General Director of Tax Department. The payment brings total government revenue from the Sepon mine in 2011 to more than US$206.6 million.
Annual production guidance remains unchanged with 78,000 – 82,000 tonnes of copper cathode forecast in 2012.
Gold production was 92% higher than the previous quarter due to the mining of high grade ore, good plant performance and excellent recoveries.
Annual production guidance of 60,000 – 65,000 ounces of gold is unchanged, as ore availability is expected to decline in the second half of 2012. The current oxide gold ore at Sepon will be exhausted in 2013.
Since production commenced in 2003, the Sepon mine has generated almost US$800 million for Laos.