January 16, 2013
MMG LXML Sepon continues to make significant contributions to the achievement of poverty reduction targets. One example is that business groups in Vilabouly district, Savannakhet province – where the mine is based – generated more than US$1.7 million in revenue from goods and services supplied to the mine in 2012, according to its press release today.
When the Sepon mine started production in 2003, it helped local people to set up small business groups which could supply goods such as food items and uniforms – and services, such as cleaning and laundry. This was done to ensure that business opportunities created by the mine could directly benefit local communities.
Last year, 17 different business groups supplied the mine; more than 200 people from Vilabouly now earn their living from the groups.
“When a business group is first set up, we provide the members with technical and business management training. As their businesses grow, we help them with product improvement, business innovation and market expansion,” said Ms Niddavone Douangphonexay, Superintendent Business Support for the mine.
“For example, during 2012 we took the members of the vegetable group to see modern agricultural enterprises in Champasack province, to learn about the best practices and product improvement,” she said.
“Now the vegetable group has 12 greenhouses and is doing very well,” Ms Niddavone said. The greenhouses enable better vegetable production during the rainy season.
Aside from increasing the income generated by the business groups, business development training also provides local people with skills that they can continue to use after the mine eventually closes.
The combined total income of local business groups since 2003 is more than US$13 million. The mine will continue to place priority on supporting the business groups and other local suppliers.