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Chan tells Newcrest to leave New Ireland Province

NEW Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan is calling on the owner and operator of the giant Lihir Gold Mine to pack up and leave New Ireland. He said this during a press conference last Thursday, adding that the Province was sick of the deceit, arrogance and incompetence the Mining Company (named) has demonstrated since it took over Lihir. Sir Julius said he was upset that Newcrest was not keeping its word to fund the Tax Credit Scheme to implement development projects in New Ireland Province. “In 2011, Newcrest told us they would provide K157 million over five years for the Tax Credit Scheme. “Then earlier this year, they told us there would have to be severe cuts in the Scheme,” he said. Sir Julius said the people have waited for 18 years for the Tax Credit Scheme to come on stream. “When I met with the top management of Newcrest shortly after their take over of Lihir in late 2010, I asked the following questions; have you done full due diligence on the purchase? Do you understand the failure of Lihir Gold to provide any benefits under the Tax Credit Scheme for the past 15 years? He said the officers present assured him that the Tax Credit Scheme would be fully operational in a very short time and that Newcrest was fully committed to the Scheme. Sir Julius said that supposed full commitment did not result in any implementation at all for two years, and then, just as implementation was beginning, they tell us that the scheme has to be cut back. “This is pathetic, we are completely insulted at the way Newcrest has treated our Government and people. “We have made our position absolutely clear repeatedly, but the only response we have received is an offer well below what we were told would be available. “We told Newcrest that was not satisfactory, and unless they meet their commitment we would consider our relationship ended, we are now that point,” Sir Julius said. Sir Julius said he is sick and tired of hearing Newcrest say that the bottom has fallen out of the gold price, so they cannot keep their commitments. “All I can say is, Newcrest is in trouble,not because of the gold price, it is because of the lack of management,” he said.

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