Monday, March 14, 2011

Lihir mine gets OK for K3.5b upgrade



THE Lihir gold mine last Friday received the green light to upgrade the capacity of its processing plant at a cost of K3.5 billion, The National reports.

The upgrade will help secure the economic future of the mine on Lihir Island by extending both its life and production outlook.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Port Moresby for the ministerial approval in principle (AIP) of the capacity upgrade, Newcrest chief operating officer Greg Jackson said the approval was the next to last step in what had been a rigorous and thorough approval process.

“In extending the financial security of the mine, it also extended the social and economic development opportunities for the people of Lihir, the New Ireland province and the state through royalties, taxes and opportunities,” Jackson said.

The mine has thus far contributed more than K5 billion to the economy since 1997.

He acknowledged the contribution of all stakeholders during the rigourous consultation process, with particular reference to the Lihir landowners, government departments and authorities, the New Ireland provincial government, the interdepartmental working group and the minister who had personally visited the mine during the consultative process.

He said the plant upgrade was scheduled for throughput ramp up in 2013.



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