January 6, 2012
(KPL) Phu Bia Mining (PBM) has been awarded the Labour Order Class 1 for its outstanding contribution to rural socio-economic development and poverty eradication by the Government of Lao PDR.
The prestigious award, presented by Vice-President Bounnhang Vorachit at a ceremony on 30 December as part of the 3rd Congress of Political Grassroots and Integrated Rural Development, recognises the contribution made by PBM’s Phu Kham Copper-Gold Operation to Vientiane Province in the period 2006 to 2010.
The company was honoured to receive the award in the presence of government leaders including President Choummaly Sayasone, Vice- President Bounnhang Vorachit, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Deputy Prime Ministers, senior Ministers and Provincial and District Governors.
Mr Chanpheng Bounnaphol, PBM Chairman, said the award held special significance for the company.
“PBM has worked hard to ensure it makes a positive contribution to Laos and to the communities around its operations. Being recognised by the Government of Lao PDR is a very high honour for the company,” Mr Chanpheng said.
PBM places a strong emphasis on sustainable operations, including through community development programmes focusing on education, healthcare, agriculture, water and sanitation, infrastructure, and small business development initiatives.
The programmes are supported by Community Development Funds at each of the company’s operations. In the case of the Phu Kham Copper-Gold Operation, US$300,000 is allocated annually to a range of projects.
PBM’s commitment to sustainability has been recognised by the Asia Mining Congress where it received the Best Community Development Initiative Award in 2010, for its Livelihood Improvement Programme, and again in 2011 for its Technical Trades Training Programme. The Livelihood Improvement Programme also received the Ethical Investor’s 11th Sustainability Award within the social and community category in December 2011.