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NEWCREST Mining Ltd says K3.6m in water dues paid to Landowners in PNG

Staff Reporter | 7:07 AM |
NEWCREST Mining Limited, the operators of the Lihir Gold mine, say it has paid a total of K3.6 million in compensation to the Londolovit community for water usage since 1998.

These payments have been part of the existing agreements in place with the Government.

The company was responding to media reports last week by aggrieved landowners who have not only raised a claim of K113m against the company, but also threatened to bar the company further usage from their water sources.

Other issues they had raised was their exclusion from the Lihir Mining Area Landowners Association (LMALA) benefit package and the mining agreement.

Newcrest, when contacted on the matter, had replied stating from the outset that its environmental management and community relationships were of utmost importance to them. Newcrest country manager Peter Aitsi stated that the Lihir gold mine sources its water from a number of locations, including the Londolovit River, adding that the amount that can be extracted by the mine is controlled by an environmental permit issued by the Government.

"This permit allows the mine to source water from eight different locations, including creeks and rivers, as well as a bore which is no longer used. Under this permit Newcrest pays the Government both an annual permits fee, as well as a water extraction fee.

"Since 1998, Newcrest has also paid the Londolovit community direct financial compensation for the impact of the weir constructed on the Londolovit River, consistent with the Londolovit River Community Agreement.

"This involves an annual payment that increases each year in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

"It started in 1998 at K35,000 and in 2015 Newcrest paid K340,030.

"Since 1998, Newcrest has paid K3.6 million in compensation to the Londolovit community," Mr Aitsi stated.

He added that the water extracted continued to be redistributed to other users as well.

Further, that the extraction of water from the Londolovit River is currently the subject of a government audit (led by the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority) agreed to by the LMALA.
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