19 May 2012

PNG's New Ireland province finally gets its mining royalties payment

10:14 am on 19 May 2012

Papua New Guinea's government has made a payment of over 9 million US dollars to New Ireland province for long outstanding royalties from mining.

The Post Courier reports that New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan received the cheque from Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on behalf of the Mineral Resource Development Corporation.

The funds were owed to New Ireland from the 1995 agreement which facilitated the large Lihir Gold Mine operation in the province.

The newspaper, The National, reports Mr O'Neill as saying the funds had been kept in the trust account for many years without previous governments honouring the commitment to release them.

He apologised to Sir Julius for the lengthy delay.

Sir Julius says just over half of the money will be reserved in a trust account for New Ireland while the rest will be used to help vulnerable people in the province and for maintaining the Lihir ring road.