Changes to law worries Lupari


CHIEF Secretary Isaac Lupari is concerned about the “sudden and unknown amendments” made to a water use permit currently held by Newcrest Mining Limited.
The company is the operator of the Lihir gold mine (LGL) on Aniolam Island in New Ireland.
Lupari in a letter dated August 23, 2016, to the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) managing director Gunther Joku wanted to know why there were “sudden and unknown amendments to the water use permit that allows LGL to extract 4400 cubic metres of water per hour”.
The permitted rate is 3800 cubic metre per hour. Attempts through phone calls yesterday to get a comment from Joku were unsuccessful.
The authority is tasked with issuing various water usage and water disposal permits to major resource projects, including mining companies such as LGL.
According to CEPA records, the amendment were fixed on Sep 26, 2014, just as months after the Londolovit community instigated an environmental audit.
Lupari said the Londolovit people who were the traditional owners of Londolovit River where the mine extracted water from for its operations had lodged a complaint at his office and were claiming K113 million in compensation for water extracted “over and above” permitted rates.
“However, they (Londolovit people) demonstrated dissatisfaction in a separate letter and expressed disappointment that Cepa as the State agency responsible had not perused the matter appropriately as per their initial demand.”
According to the mine’s website, LGL produces gold in PNG, West Africa, and Australia.
The company operates gold mines and processing facilities on the island of Lihir. LGL was incorporated in 1995.

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