New Ireland weighs Lihir gold options

National, Normal


NEW Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan has briefed the provincial executive council about the outcome of the court mediation which started in Port Moresby two weeks ago to recover hundreds of millions of kina owed for the past 13 years.
Sir Julius said this was in line with the orders given by arbitration judge, Justice Ambeng Kandakasi, on settlement of Lihir memorandum of agreement (MoA) arrears estimated at more than K400 million of unpaid benefits dating back to 1997.
He briefed the PEC on the outcome of the mediation and outlined the schedule for the next phase of mediations between state agencies and the provincial government next Monday before they return to Kandakasi the following day.
Sir Julius said his cabinet had directed the New Ireland team to continue legal processes to seek the best possible settlement of all monies and schedule of payment of these monies due to the people of New Ireland from June 1997 to this year.
The New Ireland team will seek court orders for (consistent failure by the Mineral Resources Authority) immediate review of the Lihir MoA and propose to the court to ensure full enforcement of the court orders on payments of the Lihir arrears.
The team will also seek that scoping, designing and costing of the four major infrastructure projects under the Lihir MoA is in consultation with the provincial government.
Sir Julius said the team would also produce very accurate information and figures to present to the court for its decision.