by Delly Waigeno – EM TV, Port Moresby
The disruption to operations at the Lihir Gold Mine, in the New Ireland province, over the long weekend will see some loss in production.
The plant was shutdown for almost 36 hours, after aggrieved landowners from the mining impacted area placed traditional symbolic plants, locally known as Gorgor, around the mine site on Saturday.
The Gorgor is a way of indicating discontent, and effectively bringing operations to a halt.
Operations commenced again on Monday evening after the Gorgors were removed by members of a visiting police mobile unit from the East New Britain province.
Developer, Newcrest Mining, said the temporary interference was closely managed by Newcrest site management with a phased scale-down of operations occurring in accordance with the PNG Mine Safety Act.
The company is engaging with the Mineral Resources Authority and other stakeholders, including landowners, provincial and local level governments.
Newcrest said that on 14 May 2015, all parties agreed to an audit process, led and co-ordinated by the MRA, including a review of commercial engagement processes and benefit allocation associated with landowner commercial activity.
“The continued, predictable and lawful operation of the Lihir Gold Mine and plant contributes to the long term sustainable benefit of all stakeholders including the host community.
Newcrest is committed to working with landowners and all levels of government to create that outcome.”