Will a $1billion cost saving at Lihir be a great outcome for local people and the environment?

“The company has spoilt our environment…I don’t know what the future holds for us”. Mrs. Francisca Wesparo and Thecka Inial are the only remaining elderly women at Londolovit.

“The company has spoilt our environment…I don’t know what the future holds for us”

Newcrest to expand Lihir for less

Esmarie Swanepoel | Mining Weekly | 15.02.2016

Australian gold producer Newcrest Mining on Monday reported that its board had approved the Lihir pit optimisation feasibility study, after a prefeasibility study (PFS) into a new plan proved viable.

The purpose of the new PFS was to optimise the integrated life-of-mine plan for the Lihir operation, in Papua New Guinea, including different mine sequencing and ore scheduling options, the most appropriate mining methods and civil engineering options.

The PFS estimated a forecast reduction in the estimated capital expenditure (capex) requirement for the seepage barrier to $125-million compared with the $1.29-billion price tag in a 2013 PFS, which included a cofferdam.

The mine plan now being evaluated under the feasibility study was based on three main stages, the first of which would occur from 2017 to 2021, and would include mining the Minifie and Lienetz deposits, using medium-trade stockpiles and prestrip work for successive cut backs.

Stage 2 would occur between 2022 and 2026, and would include mining at the Lienetz and Kapit deposits, medium- and low-grade stockpiles and prestrip for successive cutbacks.

Stage 3, which would occur between 2027 and 2031, would see mining continue at Lienetz and Kapit, as well as the accumulation of low-grade ore stockpiles. However, the average feed grade was expected to increase in this phase, owing to access to the higher grade Kapit ore.

“This project is a testament to the team challenging the existing thinking and developing a better solution. With the new operation strategy comes the potential for new, more cost-effective opportunities for accessing the Kapit orebody,” commented CEO Sandeep Biswas.

He added that a potential capital saving of $1-billion for the future seepage barrier was a great outcome for the Lihir operation and for Newcrest shareholders.



Filed under Environmental impact, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

3 responses to “Will a $1billion cost saving at Lihir be a great outcome for local people and the environment?

  1. Now, let us imagine we were Sandeep Biswas boss of Newcrest Mining, taking home the biggest base salary of Australia’s major miners who received $2.3 million as a guaranteed base wage at Newcrest in 2014, before bonuses and pensions are taken into account.
    (See http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/newcrest-mining-chief-executive-sandeep-biswas-top-paid-mining-boss-20140930-10o98h.html

    Sandeep Biswas is also a former executive of Rio Tinto, the mining company who exploited the people of Bougainville and caused massive environmental damage from mining copper at Panguna.

    The shortcuts Sandeep Biswas is taking at Lihir to please his Newcrest shareholders is disgusting and shows no regard for the people of Lihir or their environment.

    Could you ever imagine Sandeep Biswas swapping places with the people of Lihir? Not likely… because he could not give a damn, and the root of all evil rules him.

  2. J M Dykgraaff

    Where does this Budget include proven to be effective remediation costs for both the soil and the water supply I wonder ? What does an independent Environmental Study recommend PNG Mine Watch … ? Maski humbug yupela, no gut graun em i bugarup pinis.

  3. Perhaps what should be remembered is that the landowners have complained for a very long time about the environmental damage being done by the mining company. They have remained focused and peaceful.
    The landowners on Lihir protested peacefully last June 2015 by shutting down the mine for 36 hours by using the use of gorgors – a taboo ginger plant traditionally used as a traditional sign that they wanted to have talks with the mining company.
    What happened?
    Heavily armed police flew to Lihir Island to re-open Papua New Guinea’s largest gold mine after landowners halted operations and demanded talks with Australian company Newcrest Mining Ltd.
    So, the mining company controls the Police and obviously the PNG Government.
    See http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-08/police-sent-to-png-gold-mine-after-two-day-shutdown/6530424

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