Sepon Process Areas

Sepon Process Areas


LXML is a joint venture between Australian miner OZ Minerals and the Laos government. In 2003 LXML added a Copper mine and processing plant to its existing gold operation. The Copper Plant produces in excess of 60,000 tonne each year. From leaching of the ore to solvent extraction fnally to onsite electrowining copper cathodes are produced with a 99.999% pure copper content.

Operating Conditions

The treatment of primary ore to extract copper is a chemical process using atmospheric leach technologies, corrosive materials such as Sulphuric Acid, solvents and organic chemicals. Each part of the plant is divided up by the various processes, and the slurry and other materials passing through the plant are constantly in contact with the concrete foundations, pump bases, sumps and drains. The liquids and acidic vapors produced are extremely corrosive and range in temperature from 30 to 120ºC.

The project is in a remote location with heavy rainfall and high humidity. Sepon project was a logistical challenge and special heavy duty protection was used to protect the areas from rainfall and maintain the tight installation schedule.

Special Requirements

The concrete protection was designed and linings were selected to meet operational conditions on an area by area basis to maintain the tight budget of the project.

Corrosion Protection

Chemical storage areas, chemical unloading areas, high temperature areas, high erosion and general slurry/process liquid contact areas were assigned coating systems to meet the operational requirements.


Various systems were used such as glass flled vinyl ester linings, glass reinforced vinyl ester linings with aluminium oxide top coats and glass filled epoxy novolac linings. It should be noted that glass flake filled coatings high a superior expected service life compared to the same coating without glass due the extremely low permeability properties attained by using glass flakes.

Project Details

Location Savanakhet, Laos PDR
Project Sepon Copper Mine
Owner LXML Company Limited
EPC Khanong Development Group
Date 2004
Work Concrete Process Areas
System Vinyl Ester Lining
Area 10,000 m2
Value US$ 850,000