PNG Geologist killed in Autonomous Regions of Bougainville

SOME disgruntled landowners allegedly killed a geologist from Enga at a new gold mining project on Bougainville last Friday, Bougainville Police Service commander Francis Tokura confirmed.
“The suspects armed with bush knives and axes confronted the geologist and his local workers and pushed him over the cliff, resulting in him hitting hard on the stones at the base of the cliff,” Tokura said.
“His body has been brought to the Buka General Hospital and police have been deployed to that remote area in Tinputz to talk to the chiefs there.
“Also, we are awaiting a post-mortem report to investigate his death. But from visual examination, there are bruises on his body indicating that there was a physical struggle.”
Tokura said yesterday that the geologist, Terry Win Kilya, was killed at an exploration site called Melelup in North Bougainville.
“From reports, some disgruntled landowners attacked him. The other workers also sustained serious wounds from the knives and axes and they are also admitted at the Hospital.”
Tokura said Kilya was employed by a Joint Venture Company called the Toremana Joint Venture.
“The TJV comprises a foreign mining company called Kalia Ltd and the landowners company called Toremana Resources Ltd.
“And they are doing exploration for gold.
“But as always throughout PNG, there will always be difference among the landowners over such project and that exploration area is huge.
“So the exploration of that area is through the arrangement with some other landowners and other landowners must have been angry.
“A lot of people are now claiming ownership of that area.
“It is something like the LNG project where there are disgruntlements among landowners of Papa and Lea lea villages in Central province.
“And so we have beefed up manpower in Tinputz to go into that area to conduct investigations but we are going through the community leaders because that area is so rugged terrain and isolated and is inaccessible by road as well.”

The National/ PMW

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