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news on mining levy

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    August 20, 2003 Keeping you up to date on current news about Lihir Gold Ltd



    PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum welcomes phasing out of mining levy

    The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum has welcomed the National Executive Council’s decision to phase out the mining levy as announced by Acting Prime Minister Dr Allan Marat.

    Executive Director of the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Greg Anderson, said that it would increase confidence in PNG as a place to invest and significantly improve the country’s competitive position in attracting new development and exploration funding. This will result in greater exploration activity in the mining sector, which will undoubtedly lead to further discoveries in this resource rich country. This initiative compliments incentives already announced by the Somare/Marat Government to improve the investment climate in the petroleum and mining sectors. These have already resulted in increased exploration activity in the country.

    Mr Anderson made particular mention of Minister for Mining, Sam Akoitai, who, he said, had worked tirelessly to achieve the phasing out of the mining levy.

    Members of the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, such as Lihir Gold Limited, have been supporting efforts by the Chamber to abolish the levy since it was introduced.

    Responding to the announcement as excellent news, Lihir Gold Managing Director, Neil Swan, said it was a positive step forward, not only for the PNG mining industry but also for the country as a whole.

    “It is an important advancement and a win-win situation all round. It will increase the amount of low-grade ore that can be mined profitably at Lihir and will extend the life of the mine. It will also have considerable national benefits, as an extended mine life will mean that the community will continue to benefit from the presence of the mine for a longer period,” he said.

    On behalf of the members of the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Mr Anderson thanked the Minister for Treasury and Finance, Bart Philemon and the Minister for Mining, Sam Akoitai, for their commitment and the central role that they played to bring about the change.


    GREG ANDERSON
    EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum




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    New buses bring multiple benefits for Lihirians

    An agreement between gold company Lihir Gold Limited and local level government will see the Lihirian community benefit in more ways than one from the company’s recent delivery of 11 buses.

    Purchased by Lihir Gold for nearly 1.5 million Kina, the 25-seater buses have been custom-built with extra suspension to suit Lihir’s local road conditions.

    As part of the company’s efforts to encourage and assist sustainable business and community development it has provided an interest-free loan to enable 11 of Lihir’s local government wards to buy the buses. Under the agreement, the wards will hire the buses to Lihir Gold. The hire rate covers the wards’ monthly loan instalments until they have ultimate ownership in five years time, and generates additional money for ward-based community development projects.

    During the five-year period, the wards will be entitled to use the buses for community hire and transport.

    The buses replace some of the manhauls used to move company personnel around the island since the completion of the ring road in 1997, and will provide improved travelling conditions for Lihir Gold employees commuting to work from their villages.

    Geoff Day, General Manager External Affairs and Sustainable Development, said that the arrangement had multiple benefits.

    “When the buses are not being used to transport the company’s workers, the wards will be able to use them to provide much-needed community transport. In addition, money generated over and above the loan repayments by the bus hire contract will be held in a special account for later use by the wards for community development purposes.

    “This arrangement will provide sustainable benefits to the people of Lihir. It will bring in additional money for infrastructure development and, at the same time, help develop a more self-reliant approach to transport services,” he said.

    Echoing Mr Day’s comments, Ambrose Silul, chairman of the Nimamar Local Level Government, said that the benefits of the arrangement supported the Lihir community’s desire to ultimately be self-reliant and financially independent. He said that such arrangements showed the good working relationship that the community leaders of the day have with the company.


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    For further information:
    Michelle Templin
    Public Affairs Coordinator
    Lihir Gold Ltd
    Tel: 986 5519
    E-mail: [email protected]





 
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