MMG LXML Sepon, the gold and copper mine in Vilabouly district Savannakhet Province, recently conducted consultations on water and environmental management with community and government representatives in Vilabouly District, Vientiane and Savannakhet Province.
The meetings provided an opportunity for stakeholders to raise concerns and exchange views on water and chemical management. The topic of ‘water and chemical management’ was selected following an employee survey and a household survey in the community.
Sepon is strongly committed to maintaining high environmental standards and is a positive example of operational excellence for other industrial operations in the Lao PDR in this area.
Senior officials and community representatives offered positive accounts of the scale of development in the surrounding area since the mine commenced operations in 1993. In the past, for example, it took several days to access the site by road.
“Environmental management procedures at Sepon are independently audited and certified compliant with the international standard for Environmental Management Systems ISO14001,” said Mr Rick Watsford, General Manager MMG LXML Sepon. “Sepon complies with a strict water testing regime, and cooperates closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment to ensure regulations are applied.”
Any environmental incidents are reported to the community and Lao Government agencies, in addition to formal monthly reporting on rehabilitation and other environmental management issues.
Participants emphasised the importance of close cooperation between industry, community, and government stakeholders on environmental and waste management, closure planning, compensation, health and livelihoods, and water monitoring. This requires a shared commitment from all stakeholders.
At consultations in Vilabouly District, Sepon provided 26 million Kip to the Lao Women’s Union for a community project to prevent violence against women and children. Sepon is contributing to developing livelihoods and assisting the Lao Government to meet poverty alleviation targets in the community.
(Photo by MMG/ Chanmy Sisomphone)
Following community consultations on water management, Mr Robin Hamilton Coates, External Relations Manager of MMG LXML Sepon, hands a cheque to Ms Bounlap Thammachack, Lao Women’s Union, Vilabouly, for a project to prevent violence against women and children in the community.