PanAust Laos-based business hosts national and provincial Governments of Laos’ biannual meeting

PanAust’s Laos-based business, Phu Bia Mining (PBM), and the Government of Laos made another historic agreement as both parties signed the fourth amendment to the Mineral Exploration and Production Agreement on Friday 12 April at the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The fourth amendment, signed by Dr Sithabandith Insisiengmay, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment, and Mr Thongphat Inthavong, Vice Minister of Energy and Mines, representing the Government of Laos, were joined by representatives from PBM including: Daling Zheng, Managing Director, PanAust; Mr Chanpheng Bounnaphol, Chairman, Phu Bia Mining; Mr Steve Gimpel, Managing Director, Phu Bia Mining; Manilath Arounlangsy, Senior Manager External Affairs; and Vannaly Phounsavath, Government Relations Manager.

Other senior Government officials at the signing ceremony included the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Department of Investment Promotion, the Ministry of Energy and Mines’ Department of Mining Management and Department of Geology and Minerals.

Mr Daling Zheng on behalf of Guangdong Rising Holding Group thanked the Government of Laos for the long-term partnership. Mr Zheng said: “I stand here today filled with gratitude and honour as we mark the signing of the fourth amendment to the Mineral Exploration and Production Agreement. This momentous occasion signifies not only the culmination of dedicated efforts and negotiations but also marks a significant stage in the continuation of our partnership into the future.

“We have agreed to increase PBM’s contribution to the community development fund from US$300,000 to US$750,000 per year, which will deliver more socio-economic development priorities for Xaisomboun Province. We have also agreed to an increase in land rental fees and expat salary tax, and to pay a fixed flat rate per litre of diesel fuel purchased, as well as a new fixed royalty rate, which will all provide more financial benefits to the central and provincial Governments. PBM has also agreed to a substantial reduction of its MEPA Contract Area as part of the agreement.”

Mr Chanpheng Bounnaphol, PBM Chairman, added: “I would like to give special thanks and appreciation to the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Energy and Mines for their enduring support.

“We passed multiple rounds of negotiation together bringing excellent outcomes in this fourth amendment. The fourth amendment will not replace our commitment in the original MEPA signed in 1994 and all other subsequent amendments, rather, it will enhance our partnership and continue to deliver long-term benefits for the country and the people of Laos.”

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