Epithermal Gold 2012
Epithermal Gold Deposits of the Western Pacific
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Port Moresby, via Rabaul, to Lihir in Papua New Guinea:   Upon arrival in Port Moresby on Monday afternoon, after the long overnight flight from Denpasar (via Sydney), the group cleared Customs and Immigration and immediately transferred to the Tropicair charter terminal.   One new member had joined in Sydney, while the five remaining new starters rendezvoused late at the Tropicair terminal after their incoming connecting domestic flight had been delayed.   Take-off of the charter flight out of Port Moresby was in the mid-afternoon, bound for Rabaul on New Britain.   A charter aircraft was necessary, as normal commercial airline access would have added two days to the tour, and required accommodation on Lihir Island for the group, which was not available.   Consequently, we flew to Rabaul by air charter on Monday afternoon, arriving just before sunset, to overnight at the Rapopo Plantation Resort (upper-left image).   There we had a relaxing dinner and breakfast at the restaurant (upper-right image) with views of the beach and volcano across the bay (lower-left).   Following an early breakfast, we transferred to the nearby airport to re-board our chartered Super Kingair aircraft (lower-right image) for the 30 minute flight across New Ireland to Lihir, flying past the Lihir mine on the central-east coast of the Island, before landing at the airport on the northern-east coast. The main Minifie-Lienetz pit, which is visible through the tropical haze as the large grey cleared patch in the very centre of the mid-right image, is close to the coast, and is now well below sea-level, protected from incursion of the Pacific Ocean by an artificial bund.   The Kapit pit is being developed to the right of the image, while the mill and beneficiation plant is on the headland to the left.  Photographs by Mike Porter.

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