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MMG LXML Sepon Boosts Lao UXO Technicians

On 23 August, thirty five MMG LXML Sepon (LXML) employees successfully completed Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Level 1 and 2 training, increasing the number of qualified Lao personnel capable of supporting unexploded ordinance (UXO) operations.  A further nine employees also completed ‘pathfinder’ training.

The accredited EOD training programs were developed in cooperation with the Lao National Regulatory Authority (NRA) to provide recognised qualifications and experience in UXO clearance techniques. NRA Director General, Mr Phoukhieo Chanthasomboune, and LXML Operations Manager, Mr Paul Harris, witnessed the graduation ceremony.

Lao PDR is the most heavily bombed country, per capita, in the world.  Approximately 270 million bombs were dropped on the country between 1964 and 1973. Of these, some 80 million did not explode, leaving a deadly UXO legacy. UXO continues to claim lives and cause injuries in the Lao PDR.

 “I am absolutely delighted by MMG LXML Sepon’s long term contribution to building a safe path forward for development in the Lao PDR by enhancing the capacity of Lao UXO technicians,” said Mr Phoukhieo Chanthasomboune, NRA Director General.

 “At MMG, we mine for progress.  One of the ways we do this is through targeted training and development programs.  We have demonstrated progress at Sepon by developing interesting career opportunities,” said Paul Harris, LXML Operations Manager.  “I am very proud of our contribution to enhancing UXO clearance capacity in the Lao PDR.”

 Since operations commenced at Sepon, LXML has cleared more than 2,900 hectares of land, destroying over 45,000 items of unexploded ordnance.  In the UXO team, LXML employs more than 180 full time employees, 300 temporary workers from Vilabouly District, and a further 50 full time Lao supervisory experts.

MMG LXML Sepon continues to work closely with the Lao Ministry of Defence, NRA and UXO Lao to build capacity in UXO clearance techniques to meet international standards.

A trainee of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Level 1 and 2 training receiving a completion certificate from Mr Phoukhieo Chanthasomboune, NRA Director General.