10 Sep 2010

Lihir gold mine operators ignore needs of PNG's New Irelanders, says Governor

6:58 pm on 10 September 2010

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's New Ireland Province says that the operators of the Lihir gold mine in his province ignore the interests of local people.

Sir Julius Chan's comment follows the merger of the mine's operator Lihir Gold with Newcrest, the Asia/Pacific region's largest gold producer.

Lihir Gold has prided itself on what it describes as an exemplary environmental record in PNG.

However Sir Julius says the mine has brought environmental and social devastation.

He says he's surpised that the merger has not involved any consultations with local people about plans for expansion of the mine.

"We do not support the expansion of the mine because we are not convinced that they are telling us the truth about the impact on the environment and the tailings dumped one hundred and fifty metres down into the sea and the increase of waste that goes with the expansion of the mine."