The five landowner tribes in the Kompiam district, Enga Province, are objecting Koekam (PH) Holdings application for sole alluvial mining license.
Nick Naniya and Bob Muiyo; spokespersons of the Malipin tribe, while responding to various news reports published this week on the conduct of Mining Warden hearing by Mineral Resource Authority (MRA), said the tribe objects to Koekam Holdings saying project sites communities would prefer a full scale mining project than alluvial mine.
The duo told Post-Courier yesterday that on February 18, 2015, at Kompiam Station the five landowning tribes, Malipin, Aiyel, Poreyalin, Kukuni and Kalimbi turned up in multitudes and objected to all 11 Alluvial Mining License (LMs) Applications by Peter Malix and his company, Koekam (PH) Holdings.
The spokespersons said during the Mining Warden Hearing chaired by Mining Warden Vele Gauu, the stakeholders learnt that Peter Malix had applied for six AMLs on Aiyel land without consent of the tribe. "Therefore paramount chief landowner Bob Muiyo led his people into outright and unanimous objections before Mr Gauu.
"The Malipin tribe and leaders, councillor James Piu and elites of the tribe including community leader Rex Kipongi, led the people into total objection based on sensitive issues such as Malipin tribe not having much land in the minable land area.
"The principal applicant Peter Malix hails from the tribe and the leaders got him for the applications done without the consent of especially Aiyal Tribe," Mr Naniya said.
Mr Muiyo added; "Generally, the five tribes objected to all AML applications, except AML 717 which was done on Malipin Tribe customary land, but even without unanimously agreeing before the Warden. And the points were precisely taken when respective councillors from the five tribes and leaders gave their grounds of objections" Mr Muiyo said.
However, Mr Malix, the principal applicant, denied in front of 6,000 people, police personnel and Mr Gauu that he applied for AML 717.
"This has led to confusion and Aiyel chief Bob Muiyo questioned Mr Gauu whether his hearing was for all AML applications or for AML 717 only.
"The mining Warden said the hearing he was chairing was for all the 11 AML applications. This statement has led to confusion and all the stakeholders, including the five tribe landowners put in a unified and outright objection."
Queries sent to MRA for confirmation and an update on the status of the Warden hearing were not responded to before press time. Also attempts to speak to Mr Gauu wasn’t successful.