Mount Kare landowners in Hela province have demolished buildings and burned down several machines belonging to resource developer, Summit Development Limited, over the weekend.
One of the landowners of Heli clan and Councillor of Paijakawet in Tari-Pori district, Igiza Tekepe said the landowners went on rampage after discovering illegal underground mining by Summit Development Limited.
Mr Tekepe said the developer, Sumic Limited was granted only a exploration licence and said they have never issued an mining licence to conduct any mining until the government approves any issues mining licence to proceed.
The landowners in Hela and neighbouring Enga provinces have called on mining advisory committee and minerals resources authority to seriously look into illegal underground mining conducted.
Landowners from both Hela and Enga went down to the camp and demolished the buildings and put the machines on fire to show their frustrations.
Mr Tekepe added that national government, the two provincial governments and developer should consult the landowners status report of the project but that has never eventuated.
The landowners are calling on the mining development, the Mineral Resources Authority, and the developer Summit Development to fast-track landowners identification, social mapping, and have an umbrella benefit sharing agreement in place immediately, before a mining license is issued.