The Lihiran Equity Trust Fund was initially established by a Deed of Settlement dated 14 August 1997, to acquire shares in Lihir Gold Limited. This was initially managed for and on behalf of the Beneficiaries by MRL Resources Lihir Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mineral Resources Development Company Limited. In 2006, major trust arrangements were amended. MRLC obtained a court order and amended Clauses 6 and 13 of the Deed to firstly, enable the Trustee to dispose of the LGL Shares in any manner however, had to ensure that the main purpose of the Trust was maintained. Secondly, to enable the Trustee, to manage and control the property of the Trust in the interests of the Lihirians. By a Release of Security dated 27 January 2006, executed between EIB, MRDC and MRL, MRL was discharged from its loan obligations with EIB. This allowed MRL to sell all the LGL Shares,  settled its loan with EIB and subsequently changed its name to MRL Capital Limited on 17 December 2008. MRL Capital Limited has to date managed the LET on behalf of the Lihirians.

Clause 3 of the Deed, sets out the purposes of the Trust. Paragraph 3(d) states:

“To distribute any dividends from the Lihirian Shares and other Trust Property or any other property or an income therefrom to the Beneficiaries or to use that dividend or income to fund and maintain health, education and social welfare projects in the Lihir Group of islands for the benefit of all Beneficiaries and in both cases so that no individual member of the cases of Beneficiaries or group in the class of Beneficiaries is unreasonably favoured over another individual or group.”

The Manner of Distribution of income derived from investments are to be distributed in the following manner:

  • 50% to be retained for growth of the LET;
  • 50% to CSO. This is further divided whereby

o   25% is used for funding of community projects in education, health and infrastructure on Lihir; and

o   25% is distributed to eligible Beneficiaries

Trust Fund  Distribution