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June 15, 2021

Lihir Resource owners slam publicity propaganda

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Lihir mining area resource owners in New Ireland have distanced themselves from a recent publicity propaganda instituted by a non-landowner over the resignation of an expatriate manager.
Newcrest Mining Limited had, late last month, announced the appointment of Craig Jones to replace Craig Jetson as PNG operations manager.

This has angered Kapit Relocation Committee chairman, Newman Sana who went public on local media on the 26th September 2019,demanding the reinstatement of Jetson, issuing a 21-day ultimatum to shut down all operations from Kunaye Airport to the processing plant and mine pit.

However, Lihir Mining Area Landowners Association (LMALA) executive chairman Mr James Laketan said Sana does not represent all Lihir mine impacted area resource owners.

“The outburst by Sana was about his relationship with Craig Jetson… If anything, he is only speaking for Kapit relocates…Sana does not have the support of everyone.”

Mr Laketan said LMALA respects the Newcrest board decision, which culminated in the resignation of Craig Jetson.

“In no way will LMALA interfere in an internal Newcrest administrative function…Therefore, LMALA does not accept such threats,” he said.

Among his threats, Mr Sana had also banned any visits to the island by Newcrest chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas and the Newcrest board, planned for this week and next month.

However, Laketan countered saying: “Lihirians are peace-loving and will always resolve to proper conflict resolution processes.

“Right now, the only major issue we have is the compensation relocation (CRA) concept forcefully driven down the throats of our people by Craig Jetson and his cohorts from the 13 tenements through the Lihir agreements review process.”

He said these tenement holders were a minority and did not represent the bulk of the resource owners on Lihir.

By Edwin Fidelis, EMTV News, kokopo

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