THE fifth meeting of the Lihir Agreements Review has resulted in a significant outcome of the signing of an agreement between Lihir Mining Area Landowners Association (LMALA) and Nimamar Rural Local-Level Government (NRLLG) and other parties that will pave the way for implementation of the 2012 Integrated Benefits Package (IBP) projects and programs.
The two groups will now need to meet and agree on how the IBP social programs will be delivered. The fifth meeting was held in Kavieng, New Ireland Province from June 19 to 23.
The meeting was attended by all key parties including the New Ireland Provincial Government (NIPG), LMALA, NRLLG, local churches representatives in Lihir, Bishop Ambrose representing the Catholic Diocese of Kavieng & Manus and the United Church Reverend at on Lihir, the various departments representing the State led by Minerals Resource Authority (MRA) and Lihir Gold Limited.
Independent Chairman of the Lihir Agreements Review Brown Bai in welcoming the groups asked all parties to remain committed to the agreed process and work together to ensure all issues are properly addressed and resolved.
The revised agreements signed in 2007 require all the parties who are signatories to the IBP and the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to convene and review these agreements within a five-year period of the date of the signing.
The agreements provide a road map to achieving long term sustainable development for the Lihirian population through ensuring an efficient mine operations that is able to generate benefits for all stakeholders.
Mr Bai said:
“The parties have clearly communicated their expectations of this current round of review and that is to ensure the disputes that have prevented the effective implementation of the Lihir Sustainable Development Plan (LSDP) are fully resolved in order to realise the Lihir Destiny; failure is not an option”
To support the work of the Independent Chairman a secretariat has been established to maintain minutes and records of the meetings as well as co-ordinating logistics for the parties. A sub-committee comprised of representatives from each of the parties above have been working under the Independent Chairman to progress issues raised at the main review committee level.
The sub-committee has the important role of negotiating and resolving many of these issues prior to full endorsement by the main review committee.
Mr Bai paid tribute to the traditional landowners of Lihir stating,
“I acknowledge the support provided by the traditional landowners.
This support needs to remain strong in order for us to conclude the review as agreed by all stakeholders by the end of October 2012”