Lihir Mine will resume operation. Officer in Charge of the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), Nathan Mosusu announced the resumption of operations at the Lihir Gold Mine early this week following the closure of mining operations on 21 March 2014.
The mine ceased operations following the placement of gorgors on mine facilities by Landolam Pit Landowners over a dispute related to the benefits provided under the Lihir Integrated Benefits Package provided by Newcrest Mining Limited – the owner and operator of the Lihir Gold Mine and managed by the Lihir Mine Area Landowners Association (LMALA).
Following the closure, the National Government Team led by MRA and accompanied by officers from the State Solicitor’s Office, held discussions with the disputing landowners to request the removal of gorgors and reach an understanding on a way forward to deal with the disputes.
During the discussions, landowners removed the gorgors which allowed the mine to re-commence operation early this week. Mr Mosusu commended the disputing parties for their cooperation in reaching an understanding and continuing the dialogue on the way forward to deal with their disputes. Mr Mosusu also heaped praise on Chief Superintendent Anton Billy – ACP New Guinea Islands Region, Senior Inspector Elisa Taksir – PPC New Ireland and Inspector Julie Palakai, Lihir Police Station Commander who rapidly deployed additional police manpower on the island to ensure mine operations resumed without further disruptions.
The OIC said the police’s tireless efforts in supporting the National Government team facilitate understanding between the disputing parties and providing a safe and secure environment for discussions to take place must be commended. He further urged the Lihir Gold Mine landowners to cooperate and continue the dialogue towards reaching a satisfactory outcome that would be of common benefit to all Lihirians affected by the mine. Mr Mosusu said placing gorgors on the Lihir mine which could potentially affect the benefits to Lihirians, New Irelanders and PNG as a whole.