Kupa Tama Landowners Association Inc, formed by the Kokari and Yamape tribes, has made the first move to call on the Government, for their sake as principle landowners.
Mt Tundaka, according to chief of the Kokari tribe and chairman of KTLA Peter Kokari Bopen, has sacred significance to the local people and is believed to be the epicentre for minerals oil and gas.
Chairman Bopen said although there’s no mining activity in the area yet, the purpose is to identify genuine customary landowners in Wage LLG in Enga and Magarima LLG in Hela Province, before any exploration can take place.
This plan by the association for an early social mapping is to avoid similar situations faced by landowners of other project areas such as PNG LNG.
Expanding on this, deputy chairman Andape Hape Tani said currently, royalty payments to some project area landowners have been put on hold, so social mapping can be conducted, as directed by Mineral Resource Development Company (MRDC).