The reopening of the office, which has been in hibernation for the last eight years, is seen by Lihirians as a step in the right direction to assist locals setup and operate successful business during and after mine life.
Lihir Gold Limited human resource officer, Mathilda Lusan, said the change was needed to help all Lihirians.
“As a young Lihirian, I strongly agree that business development is reverted to Newcrest to help landowners set up businesses here for the benefit of our future generation and for life after the mine.
“Economic growth also has to be greater than the population growth otherwise more and more people will form part of the poor. Economies have to grow to look after the increasing numbers of people that local business brings and economic growth is very often at the cost of environmental protection,” said Lusan.
Lihir Island Youth Association Treasurer, John Tububol, who is also an employee of Newcrest, described the announcement as a win-win for the people.
He said a key element of business development for local companies was capacity building.
“I believe a better way to improve and sustain Lihirian businesses is to provide training on business development, business management and business sustainability for owners, directors and managers.
“If these three groups of people have the right business capability, they will build a better business profit growth, sustain the business and bring the business to compete outside of Lihir, even if the mine closes,” Tububol said.
The reopening of the office was recommended by the Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry, following an audit into Lihir businesses in 2015.
By year’s end, Newcrest-Lihir’s Commercial Department had submitted a position paper on how it would implement the audit recommendations and how it would fulfill expectations of the Procurement and Supply clauses of the Mining Development Contract.
The Small Medium Enterprise Corporation (SMEC) have been awarded the task of managing the functions of the Business Development Office.
The new BD office is being set up near Lihir’s Meri Divelopmen Senta in Londolovit and is expected to open its doors for business in March.
Picture: Local company Saziko Sandblasting Limited (SSL) Managing Director Newman Sana receiving Saziko’s certificate of accreditation from Executive General Manager Lihir & Cadia, Craig Jetson, recently in Lihir. Saziko is now compliant with all Newcrest’s standards relating to safety, environment, management, governance and financial management, community engagement and transparency. With the reopening of BD, local companies can receive help to operate successfully as SSL.