Keep away from SML area: MRA

The Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) has issued a warning to people in Lihir not to enter the Special Mining Lease (SML) area of Newcrest Lihir (Lihir Gold Limited) and when on the mine road, observe all road safety rules.

In a community toksave that is being broadcasted on Lihir’s community radio station; Trupla FM, the regulator was specifically targeting public drivers who use the mine access road section between Kapit North and the Process Plant area.

MRA appealed to the drivers to always follow all traffic rules set by Newcrest Lihir because the road is within the operation’s SML.

Newcrest Lihir security and safety officers have reported people wandering through the SML on hunting sprees while drivers using the public access road are operating unsafely and creating the risk of serious accidents.

The section of the road between Kapit North and the Process Plant exit towards Putput 1 has a speed limit of 50km per hour (kph) and 25 kph when approaching the two tunnels. But drivers, especially those driving public and private vehicles, have been caught on Newcrest cameras driving up to 60kph and over.

Other offences by local drivers include overtaking at blind spots, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without seat belts on, driving while talking on mobile phones, driving unregistered vehicles and driving without valid licences.

“There were situations where young children were allowed to stand up or sit on the driver’s lap as the vehicle drives at high speed on the mine access road. A responsible, caring parent would not place his or her child in a dangerous situation like this,” said Newcrest Lihir’s Community Relations Superintendent Condrad Akope.

“Not only are parents putting their children’s lives in danger, but they are also teaching them a very unsafe behaviour and bad lessons,” he added.

The MRA warned through its community awareness in Lihir that these behaviour are breaches of the Mine Safety Act and can result in the following penalties: a jail term of three months, a fine of K3,000 or, both a jail term of three months and a fine of K3,000.

(The mine access road in Lihir being pointed out)

Press release