MRA not responsible for benefit arrangements between landowners: Samar

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THE Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) is not responsible for the benefit arrangements between landowners of the Kunaye airport in Lihir, New Ireland and Newcrest Papua New Guinea.
Managing director Philip Samar, pictured, was responding to reports that landowners of the airport were claiming outstanding benefits from the mine. Samar told The National that both parties had agreements which they needed to discuss to resolve the grievances.
He said the Mineral Resources Authority granted leases to allow mining companies to build infrastructure.
“The company has applied for a special mining lease. It is the primary lease within which they actually access and extract gold which is their primary business,” Samar
“Now they need roads, electricity, ports and airports.  Those come under subsidiary leases within the Mining Act. So we have mining easements that lease mining purposes for exploration companies that have exploration leases.
“The airport sit under a lease because nobody was going to build an airport there.
“If the state wanted to build an airport we would have gone and acquired the land from the landowners, build it and lease it to the company.
“We were not prepared to do that and the company did it themselves for their purposes.
“The only way they can do it was to apply for a lease with us and we granted it to put up that associated infrastructure and that’s the standing arrangement for Kunaye airport.”

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