Tolukuma LOs threaten mine closure

LANDOWNERS are threatening to close down the Tolukuma gold mine in Central Province if the developer, Asi Dokona, fails to enforce the memorandum of agreement signed last year.

The MOA was between the Asi Dokona, the state and the landowners.

Yulai Landowner Association chairman George Gusi said yesterday they were forced to take this stance as numerous attempts by the landowners for a round table with them (the developer) had fallen on deaf ears.

Business spin offs, environmental issues and social and community issues were some of the issues that Mr Gusi says they had wanted to discuss.

"Up until today the developer hasn’t been working with the people. We are urging a round table to discuss these issues and how they intend on addressing them," Mr Gusi said.

He said local landowners in the area had suffered for more than 20 years since the establishment of the mine and did not want the same woes to be repeated with the new developer.

"Our concern is for the developer to include us in the spin off businesses and have us captured in the operation of the mine so that the people are not left out," Mr Gusi said.

He said one way effective was to offload contracts to the landowner company who would then partner through joint venture agreement with other reputable companies adding that would be one way landowners are given full participation.

He said there needed to be close consultation with the developer to find better ways to dispose of tailings from the mine affecting the livelihood of the people living along the Auga River and the Kairuku Hiri people living along the Angabanga river.

The chairman echoed the same statements by Minister for Petroleum Ben Micah to work in partnership to achieve results and people are satisfied.
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