“News of Newcrest’s sellout to Newmont, though not surprising to the New Ireland Provincial Government, was still deemed somewhat distasteful.”
These were the sentiments of the Deputy Governor and Chairman responsible for mining matters, Mr Semmie Missen.
“The business deal only satisfies the shareholders big-time but does nothing to settle the outstanding project commitments of the State to the people of New Ireland under the Revised Lihir MOA 2007 carried over from the original MOA signed in 1995.”
He said it also does nothing to resolve the longstanding legacy concerns of the landowner entity, LMALA relating to the stop payment of the administration funding and the Integrated Benefits Package undertakings.
“After 27 years of the Lihir gold project, Newcrest has done very little to honour the Lihir Agreement.”
He continued on to say as the government, they have openly expressed their concerns with Newcrest and the State and will not bend, as today’s estimate of cost for all the outstanding project commitments stands at about K1.2 billion.
“Before Newmont even think of coming to the table, they better be told of their obligations and social responsibilities to the people because these will be on top priority for discussion.”
The three New Ireland parties to the Lihir Memorandum of Understanding, which include the Nimamar Council, LMALA and the New Ireland Government will convene for a joint meeting in Kavieng for discussions on these matters.