Give locals confidence in Solwara 1: Sir J

The New Ireland Provincial Executive Council Meeting (PEC) convened a full day’s discussion yesterday on a number of matters. Governor Sir Julius Chan chaired the meeting.

On top of the agenda was discussions on the submissions for Endorsement of increase in the number of Taxi Licenses Province wide, Expression of Interest by Enhance Group Seeking Interest to Establish a Central Fishing Operations and Processing Facility in New Ireland, and Gender Based Violence Against Women Policy. 

The Governor also found time to engage in dialogue with Nautilus, recently acquired by Deep Sea Mining Finance Ltd (DSMF) and Newcrest Mining Limited, on the Solwara 1 project in West Coast New Ireland.

The NIPG suggested to DSMF Ltd to conduct proper awareness with the locals on the proposed project including engaging an independent scientist to evaluate possible environmental impacts. It was vital that the developer give confidence to locals that the project will not affect their livelihood. 

The intense one-hour meeting included concerns of the livelihood of Lihirians after the lifespan of the mine is over in 2042 and the possible acquisition of the mine by giant mining company Newmont.  

The Governor said whatever the business arrangement is, Newcrest or Newmont “must know that they have obligations to fulfill under the 1995 and 2007 Benefit Sharing Agreement (MOA)”. 

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