Having recently visited New Ireland province Prime Minister James Marape has been informed that the Memorandum of Agreement for the Lihir mine is up for review and this was made known to the Prime Minister on his visit to the mine.
The Prime Minister and his delegates were received by the Newcrest Executive team in an array of singsing groups at the Lihir airport and were given an exclusive tour of the mines processing plants, the open mine pit and a tour of the ring road around the island.
The mine is a world class operation with a vision to see an economically prosperous PNG; Lihir stands committed to work in partnership with all tiers of government with other key industry representatives to discuss resource legislation.
Newcrest Chief Operating Officer, Craig Jones says, The future of the Lihir Mine looks very bright.
“We have so much potential and aim to continue to harness this potential to add value to our operations.” However he said the Lihir Memorandum of Agreement is one major hurdle that needs attention.
“The Lihir MoA, Compensation, Relocation and Development Agreements once approved will propel development aspirations in Lihir, Namatanai and the wider New Ireland province to greater heights,”
Resonating calls to the Prime Minister to have the National Executive Council fast track the MoA to have it endorsed and signed off with.
The MoA entails the disbursement of royalty payments to Namatanai and Kavieng for infrastructure projects and projects pursuant to the districts; to which the review was never successful due to internal issues.
Not giving a foreseeable time-frame but acknowledging the concerning call made by Newcrest COO, Prime Minister Marape gave his assurance; pledging his support to have ensure that the MoA is fast tracked and endorsed by the NEC at its earliest.
“Our government is picking up on legacy issues that past governments had not attended to; not only on landowner fronts. For matters pertaining to Lihir, we will pick it up and attend to them at the very earliest and by the time we hit first quarter next year, there will be a firmer view on how we can progress with Lihir and its undertakings,”
By Annette Kora, EMTV News, Port Moresby