PNG Govt's decision to take over Porgera Mine ‘ill-timed’

 THE decision to hand over the special mining lease (SML) to the Papua New Guinea government owned Kumul Mining Holdings Limited has been described as “ill timed” and “irresponsible” by the country's Opposition.

Opposition Leader and member for Vanimo-Green Belden Namah said a petition received by the Opposition showed the dangerous path the Government was heading down.

“I am shocked that in a very short space of time the Government has issued the SML to KMHL it is highly suspicious because it is without following due process, and that the government passed legislation to subvert many of the processes to issue an SML,” Namah said.

He confirmed the Opposition would be taking the matter to court to look at the provision in the mining law that said there had to be consultation with the landowners.

“The information we have received is not good. Our aim now is to look at the amendment to the mining law and if true I will challenge it in court,” he said.

“That is a dangerous trend. How about the environment damage? Who is going to pay? With the amendment, the Government has made itself immune from prosecution by the landowners. I do not know where the Government is heading especially with the resource sector but it is a bad precedent for the country.”

Namah was supported by Ialibu-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill.

Both men described the decision in the handing of the SML to KMHL as a trend to divide and rule and picking only a handful and leaving out the majority.

The National / Pacific Mining Watch

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