Chan visits Laos mine
MINING Minister Byron Chan is in Laos to see PanAust’s operations at Phu Kham and Ban HouayxaHe was accompanied by Mineral Resource Authority acting managing director Philip Samar and Highlands Pacific chief executive, John Gooding.
Minister Chan was greeted by PBM chairman, Mr Chanpheng Bounnaphol, senior Lao staff and PNG nationals working in Laos as highly skilled expatriate workers. PNG’s long mining history has developed significant talent in the fields of engineering, geology, mine planning and trades. PNG nationals are now finding their way into all corners of the international mining industry and training counterparts in new mining destinations such as Laos.
“It was encouraging to see so many familiar faces from PNG working abroad, especially in a country so remote from PNG. The fact that they are building the skills of the local people and imparting knowledge gained in PNG’s world class mining operations show the strength of our local industry,” said Chan.
The delegation took the opportunity to visit the village of Ban Nam Gnone and discussed PanAust’s approach to sustainability, environment and community development. A full briefing was provided on the approach to tailings storage, water management and relations with the neighbouring communities.
During the visit, Chan called on his Lao counterpart, Soulivong Daravong, Energy and Mines Minister. They exchanged information and experiences of managing the industry.
The discussion furthered the bilateral relationship and enhanced cooperation between the two countries.
PanAust is looking to develop the Frieda River project in Sandaun Province, in conjunction with future joint-venture partner Highlands Pacific.
The Frieda River project is a priority project for the Government of PNG and the provinces of Sandaun and East Sepik.
“PanAust is excited to host the Minister of Mines, MRA and Highlands Pacific. We are proud of the ongoing achievements of our mines in Laos. The operations continue to deliver to plan and our workforce is now truly global. This is the approach we will take to developing a world-class operation at Frieda,” said Mr Richard Taylor, PanAust general manager external affairs.
Mr Gooding welcomed the opportunity to look at PanAust’s operations at both Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai and was looking forward to working with PanAust.