The 18 kilometre Putput to Palie section of the main ring road, circling Aniolam, the largest island in the Lihir group and home to Newcrest’s Lihir gold mine, will be upgraded.
The Putput to Palie road upgrade is being built to Department of Works standard with drainage systems, speed humps, culverts and traffic signs.
At the ground breaking ceremony on August 29, 2016, Lihir General Manager, Craig Jetson, thanked community members, government officers and business leaders for their support and commitment in reaching the milestone of commencing work.
He also called on community, government and business leaders to collaborate for the benefit of all Lihirians.
New Ireland Provincial Works Manager, Solomon Pela, said maintenance and upgrades to the ring road was the responsibility of the National Government, but due to financial constraints, Newcrest had offered to fund and oversee the project.
“We thank Newcrest for delivering this road which is a service to the community, and a national road in the Government Gazette. When the mine is gone, this road will be your lifeline.”
Lihir landowner company LCC and business partner HBS were awarded the contract to upgrade the road over the next 12 months.
The Putput to Palie road upgrade and sealing is the most significant of several road and infrastructure projects committed to by operators of the Lihir gold mine and Newcrest has now allocated $US35 million (K113.63 million) to fulfil those commitments.
So far Newcrest has built new houses for relocated communities, new water supplies to villages and fully serviced industrial blocks for landowner companies to set up businesses in Londolovit, the main town on Aniolam Island. Other legacy projects underway include the Putput Boat Harbour and sealed roads for the Londolovit and Kunaye villages, along with the Londolovit township which is 30% complete.
Picture: Newcrest Lihir general manager Craig Jetson operates the back hoe to break ground for the road upgrade on 29 August.