7 Nov 2008

PNG government faces suit over withheld Lihir payments

4:09 pm on 7 November 2008

The Papua New Guinea Government will face a lawsuit next week alleging it has breached a memorandum of agreement with the New Ireland Provincial Government over the Lihir gold mine.

The provincial Governor Sir Julius Chan says his administration is frustrated and has instructed lawyers to sue the state to enforce its entitlements worth millions to the province under the deal.

The Post Courier report Sir Julius as saying the state has not paid its entitlements worth more than 157 million US dollars to Lihir landowners and the provincial government since 1995.

He says the provincial government has instructed lawyers to sue the national Government to enforce the entitlements as a last resort, since the state has been ignorant of the memorandum for the past 13 years.

Sir Julius says he is perturbed and disappointed that Treasury has not implemented legal government contracts.