PanAust Ltd aware of environmental, cultural importance of Sepik River

 The Frieda River Project environmental impact statement (EIS) recognises the importance of the Sepik River from an environmental perspective and the valuable contribution it makes to people’s lives, according to the project operator.

PanAust Ltd, the operator of the Frieda River copper/gold project, was responding to a statement by the East Sepik provincial government saying it was not prepared to approve the project under the current proposal.

A company spokesperson said the EIS incorporated comprehensive environmental, socio-economic and cultural heritage baseline data spanning a period of 10 years.

“Extensive stakeholder engagement was undertaken and will continue through the various stages of the project,” the spokesperson said.

“The EIS is aligned to the IFC (international finance corporation) performance standards and equator principles.

“The project’s hydroelectric facility was designed by experienced engineering company, SRK Consulting to international standards and guidelines.

“These include the Australian national committee on large dams, the international commission on large dams, and the Canadian dam association.

“PanAust has engaged independent experts to provide advice on all aspects of the EIS, which is currently subject to public review and independent peer review by the PNG Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority (Cepa).

“PanAust has requested Cepa extend the public review period to 31 Oct to allow adequate time for the completion of this process.

“The Company is working with the Government of PNG to ensure all legislative requirements during the permitting phase of the project are followed.”

The National/PacificMiningWatch

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