The Lihir operation on Aniolam Island in the New Ireland Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG), 900 kilometres north-east of Port Moresby, is 100 per cent owned and operated by Lihir Gold Limited (LGL). Newcrest acquired the Lihir operation as a result of the merger with LGL by court-approved scheme of arrangement in August 2010.
The gold deposit at Lihir is within the Luise Caldera, an extinct volcanic crater that is geothermally active, and is one of the largest known gold deposits in the world. Most of the ore is refractory and is treated using pressure oxidation before the gold is recovered by a conventional leach process. Lihir produces gold doré.
In the financial year ending 30 June 2016, Lihir produced 900,034 ounces of gold. Since production commenced in 1997, the site has produced more than 10 million ounces of gold.
In February 2016, the Lihir Pit Optimisation Prefeasibility Study was approved by the Board to progress to Feasibility Study stage. Key outcomes of the study affirmed the potential benefits of lateral mine development of the open pit and endorsed the progression to Feasibility Study with respect to a near shore cut-off wall in place of a coffer dam, substantially reducing expected future capital expenditure on the seepage barrier.
Lihir creates economic value for Papua New Guinea and local communities in a number of ways, including direct revenues from operations, investments in public infrastructure and services, support of local suppliers and a range of indirect economic benefits.
Approximately 4,500 people are employed at Lihir which has a combination of residential and fly-in-fly-out personnel, around 90 per cent of employees are Papua New Guineans.
Lihir supports PNG-based suppliers and businesses where possible, consistent with our commitments to landowners and the PNG Government. We also contribute to the local economy in accordance with agreements with the government and landowners by providing public infrastructure and services, including access to health services and the provision of electrical power and water to local villages.