Gold miner Barrick put on notice for nearly 30 years of rent owing

Port Moresby- Post Courier : PNG’s second largest mine, the Porgera Gold Mine, has been in operation for nearly 30 years but it has yet to resettle the Special Mining Lease (SML) landowners whom it displaced since it first started its operation in 1990.

Chairman of Tuanda ILG Sole Taro said that he and his people were displaced by Barrick who promised to relocate them since their land, the place which they called home was used by the mine to dump waste from the

“It’s nearly 30 years now, me and my people have been displaced by the company with promises of resettlement but so far nothing has been done,” said Mr Taro.

He said that Tuanda ILG owned 600 hectares of land in the SML area.

“Barrick have used 600 hectares of our land for 30 years and we have never received any benefit.”

He said that apart from the homes and gardens that were damaged, schools as well as churches were damaged.

“They used my land to dump waste from the mine.”

Mr Taro said that they haven’t built schools, churches or aid posts to compensate for the ones that are now covered in waste.

“There is no council ward, my people are scattered all over,” he said.

“Our village is destroyed by the company and now we have no place to call home.”

As the chairman of Tuanda ILG and a leader for his people, he is calling on Barrick Gold to at least resettle his people somewhere together where they can call home and restart their already crumbled life.

“We are wiped out because our land is covered by the waste from the mining, we have no land, no rivers, no pigs, no food and gardens. We only want to be resettled somewhere where we can call home and stand as men and women on our own two feet.”

Chairman of Justice Foundation of Porgera Ltd Jonathan Paraia said that the company has displaced landowners making them refugees on their own land.

“In PNG people live on a piece of land and when that is gone they are displaced so they become environmental refugees or you can call it mining infected refugees. They have no other place to go.”
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