NEWMONT WARNED: OUTSTANDING LIABILITIES FOR NEWCREST REMAIN
Despite Newmont Corporation’s ‘non-binding proposal to acquire 100% of the issued share capital of Newcrest Mining Limited (Newcrest) by way of a scheme of arrangement,’ the local New Ireland Provincial Government remains steadfast that the takeover will not erase Newcrest’s outstanding liabilities.
Newcrest is the current operator of Lihir Gold Mine.
The Deputy Governor and Chairman responsible for mining matters, Semmi Missen said in a media statement that: “The media release about Newcrest’s sell-out to Newmont is not surprising to the New Ireland Government but very distasteful.
Missen said: “The business deal only satisfies the shareholders big-time but does nothing to settle the outstanding project commitments of the State to the people of New Ireland under the Revised Lihir MOA 2007 carried over from the original MOA signed in 1995. It also does nothing to resolve the longstanding legacy concerns of the landowner entity, LMALA relating to the stop payment of the administration funding and the Integrated Benefits Package undertakings.
He continued that after 27 years of the Lihir gold project, Newcrest has done very little to honour the Lihir Agreement.
“As a Government, we have openly expressed our concerns with Newcrest and the State. We will not bend. At today’s price, all the outstanding project commitments would be about K1.2 billion and this is not peanuts.
“Before Newmont even think of coming to the table, they better be told of their obligations and social responsibilities to the people because these will be on top priority for discussion.
The three New Ireland parties to the Lihir MOA, the Nimamar Council, LMALA and the New Ireland Government are meeting in Kavieng to deliberate on these matters.
“If anyone thinks New Ireland will bend, it is a dream because New Ireland will never bend under this Government,” he said.