Lihir Island one of world’s safest mines

Papua New Guinea’s largest gold mine (based on 2008 gold production), LGL’s Lihir Island operation, has proven itself as one of the world’s safest mines after achieving a record 365 days without a Lost Time Injury (LTI). The milestone equates to more than 12 million hours worked at the site, and is considered to be an outstanding record by global safety standards in mining. LGL Executive General Manager Noel Foley said the result was well ahead of world’s best practice, with the most common safety benchmark in metalliferous mining an LTI frequency rate of 5. LTI frequency rate is the number of lost time injuries multiplied by 1,000,000 divided by hours worked over a 12-month period.

“For Lihir Island, which has a workforce of over 3,000 people, to achieve an LTI frequency rate of zero over a year is a remarkable achievement in our industry and one of which we are extremely proud,” Foley said. “It is also significant that we achieved this result at a time when our gold production has been the highest on record. This demonstrates we can achieve challenging gold production targets and do so safely.”

Foley said there had been a very strong focus on achieving and maintaining excellent safety standards at Lihir Island over the past four years. Extensive training programs had been carried out to drive home the importance of having a safe working environment and to put in place safe operating processes and procedures.

“Safety is our number one priority at all times, and I’m delighted this message is reaching our workforce so clearly. I have to congratulate, and thank, each and every one of our employees for their contribution towards achieving this target,” he said. “As a team, however, we are conscious we must continue to remain vigilant in working safely. It is our collective responsibility to look after ourselves, and our workmates, to ensure we return home safely every day.”

The Lihir Island operation is one of the world’s largest gold mines and processing facilities, located 900 km northeast of Port Moresby in New Ireland province of PNG. The operation has a workforce of over 3,000 employees and business partners, and is a significant contributor to PNG’s economy.