Prior to the Lihir Gold Project Lihirians were talking about the ‘Peketon’ (wave) and Lihir becoming a City. This was the Lihir Dream or Vision.
Vision – The vision of the Lihir Leaders is for Lihir to be Self-Reliant and Financially Independent.
Mission – The mission of the Lihir Leaders is to create a healthy, wealthy, happy and wise society.
Mining Development – The first and subsequent Integrated Benefits Packages (IBP) has clearly communicated how the resource development on Lihir should and continue to proceed. Compensation for the landowners is based on the notion of ‘Permanent replacement for permanent loss’.
Parallel – To ensure that development in all villages in Lihir will happen in parallel to the development of the Lihir Gold Project.
Balanced – To ensure that development in Lihir is balanced in all villages and wards in Lihir. The aim of the Lihir Destiny is to develop a Happy, Healthy, Wealthy and Wise community.
Sustainable – To ensure that development in Lihir is sustainable i.e. development in Lihir must be able to sustain itself without being dependant on the Lihir Gold Project.
Stable – To ensure that development in Lihir is stable. This must happen in harmony with the Lihir Society; not destroy and erode the order and culture that existed in the society prior to the operation of the Lihir Gold Project.
Non-mining Development – The Lihir Sustainable Development Plan (LSDP) will use the Lihir Gold Project as a stepping stone only; its sustainability will not be dependent on the mine. This means funding from the Lihir Gold Project will be used to set it up but its sustainability and ongoing life will depend on undertaking non mining related activities. To ensure that the LSDP is successful, priority projects/programs must be consistent with the Non Mining Plan. The implementation of the LSDP will be done in four phases with each phase spanning five years.
Lihir Destiny Book Launch
MRL Capital Ltd has launched a book which focuses on the socio-economic development of Lihir Island, New Ireland Province, PNG.
MRL Capital Ltd Chairman Mark Soipang said the ‘Lihir Destiny’ envisages the locals’ dreams to be able to sustainable themselves after the mine ceases. He said it also includes informing corporate clients of its vision to become equity partners in creating something sustainable. “The book is about the history and dream that is traced back to before the mine. When the mine came it was an opportunity for us (Lihirians) to modernize that dream.”
\”It is an opportunity for us to make use of the cash that we get from compensation and to do something sustainable that we can have after the mine is gone,” he said. MRL Capital is the trustee of the Lihirians equity trust whose assets now comprise proceeds of the sale of shares held for the Lihirians in the then Lihir Gold Ltd. Soipang said these proceeds have been invested in real estate, trading shares, and other liquid assets in Papua New Guinea and Australia.
He added that “the intention to invest serves two main, long term purposes; one is to generate sufficient annual income to pay distributions to eligible Lihirians and the other is to support education, health and social welfare programs targeting the beneficiaries of the Trust, who are clan members of the Unawos, Tinetalgo, Tengawom, Nissal, Lamatlik, and Nikama clans of the Lihir Group of Islands.”
“Under the Lihirians Sustainable Development Plan, the vision of the clans is to see financial independence of all Lihirians after closure of the mine. This is the basis of the Lihir Destiny. All Lihirian entities including MRL Capital are obliged to create income generating opportunities for individual clan members to participate in efforts to achieve the vision.”
Trust assets which MRL manages was worth around K520 million as the end of the last financial year.
Story by Gynnnie Kero