On 23 April, IM4DC welcomed 23 Lao government officials to The University of Western Australia who took part in a one day workshop hosted by IM4DC as part of a study tour to Western Australia. The delegation was also briefed by state government officials before visiting mining and processing operations and the Port of Bunbury.
The one day visit was designed to stimulate discussion and enable the exchange of information and experiences, as well as aim to improve the knowledge of participants about the key priorities and approaches for bauxite mining, processing, social and environmental impact and mining governance.
Through facilitated discussions, the workshop provided a valuable opportunity for participants to learn about the specifics of bauxite mining and metallurgy processes and environmental protection measures, which is an issue is the south of Lao.
Contributing keynote speakers who presented on the day included Paul Vogel, Chairman of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who spoke about Environmental Impact Assessment in Western Australia and Martin Fey, a Professor from The University of Western Australia’s School of Earth and Environment who discussed the Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminium Lifecycle.
Represenatives on the tour included officials from the Lao Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines, along with the national government officials from provinces with a bauxite endowment (Champasack, Attapeu and Sekong provinces in the South of Lao).
Participants involved in the tour also had the opportunity to gain an industry perspective and gain first-hand experience by taking part in a field trip to Alcoa’s mining and alumina refining operations in Pinjarra.