Politburo member of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and Deputy Prime Minister Mr Somsavat Lengsavad attended the opening of the Sakai Mining Joint Venture Company in Sangthong district, Vientiane on Thursday.
He was joined by a high-level Vietnamese delegation led by a Politburo member of the Communist Party of Vietnam and permanent member of the Party’s Central Committee Secretariat, Mr Le Hong Anh.
From now until the end of the year, the factory will mine 250 tonnes raw material per day from which they will extract gold and silver. They aim to double production by the end of 2013.
The Company’s General Director, Mrs Truong Thi Thu Hong, said that the factory cost US$30.9 million to build.
Although the official opening was on Thursday, it’s been under experimental operation since November last year. “Now, we are selling our gold and silver to the Lao markets, because we don’t have enough to sell overseas yet,” Mrs Truong said.
“But we will be producing enough to sell to many countries in the near future.”
Mr Somsavat said that although the factory is not a large operation, it’s important to Laos and Vietnam because it was opened as the two countries celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations and 35th Anniversary of the Lao-Vietnam Friendship and Cooperation Treaty.
He also suggested that because the factory is mining for gold and silver, it should help provide funds to develop remote rural areas.
Sangthong district in Vientiane was one of the country’s strongholds in the movement against the French oppressors.
From 1960-70, Mr Somsavat was one of many people who were engaged in the struggle against foreign aggressors in the district.
Sakai village, where the mining factory is located, was the village where he and other people stayed during missions, he revealed.
“We hope that the company will become a model for developing and helping local areas in Laos,” Mr Somsavat added.
Mr Le Hong Anh also mentioned at the opening ceremony that he and his delegation were delighted to attend the meetings on the 50th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations and 35th Anniversary of the Lao-Vietnam Friendship and Cooperation Treaty in Laos. Yet, he and his Vietnamese delegation also made time for the opening of the Sakai Mining Joint Venture Company factory.
“It’s a requirement that this factory and the mining production should not impact on the environment,” he said.
Source: Vientiane Times
By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
July 20, 2012