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Sir Julius refutes Newcrest Mining Claims on royalty payments

Admin | 10:01 PM |
Sir Julius Chan, Governor of New Ireland Province, has refuted claims by Newcrest Mining concerning the amount of royalties paid to the Provincial Government.

He said that for almost half that period, royalties were paid by the previous owner of the mine, Lihir Gold Limited contradicting the claims by Newcrest.

He said the media reports by Newcrest Mining gives the impression that huge sums have gone to the province, when in fact this is not the case.

He explained that it was not until late 2010, when Newcrest finalised purchase of the mine, that Newcrest began paying royalties.

"The total return of the mine to both the company and the National Government is between five and ten times what comes to the province.

"Between the two, they make literally billions of kina per year, while the province, the LLG and the landowners combined make around K40m. There is something wrong here. It is true that the mine under both LGL and Newcrest has paid K374m in royalties over the past ten years. Of this amount, half has gone to the landowners and the Local Level Government. The other half has come to the Provincial Government," Sir Julius said.

However, under a PEC decision on the 50 per cent received by the Provincial Government, only 10 per cent is retained as 30 per cent is given to the Namatanai District, where the mine is located and 10 per cent to Kavieng District.

According to this calculation, the provincial government has only received directly about K37 million over the last ten years.

"The Provincial Government came to an agreement with the two Districts that royalty funds should be used for the ‘benefit of all New Irelanders."