PNG Government insists DSTP Method best option for Wafi-Golpu Mine

Papua New Guinea  ENVIRONMENT, Conservation and Climate Change Minister Wera Mori says the Government has not breached any laws in granting an environmental permit for the Wafi-Golpu copper/gold project in Morobe.

He maintained that the deep-sea tailings placement (DSTP) was the best possible method for tailings disposal for the K18.4 billion project.

Mori made the comments after the Morobe government indicated that it would take legal action against the Government over the issuance of the permit to project operator, Wafi-Golpu joint venture (WGJV) recently.

“We have not breached any laws in granting the permit,” Mori told The National yesterday.

“Mining is all about science.

“There was paramount mining safety practice considered before the permit was granted. A huge amount of mine waste can’t be stored in a tailings dam.

“It’s a time bomb itself.

“Basamuk, Simberi and Lihir all use DSTP.

“The incident at Basamuk was a result of a systems failure, it was not related to DSTP.”

Last week, the Morobe government said it would give the State two weeks to withdraw the environmental permit granted for the project.

It wanted an alternative to DSTP found.

Governor Ginson Saonu clarified Morobe’s position during a public forum in Lae attended by landowners recently.

Saonu said if nothing positive was forthcoming from the Government, the province would take its grievances to court.

He accused the Government of “failing the people of Morobe” when it granted the environmental permit to the project developers last month.

He said the province had submitted its proposals during meetings in Port Moresby and Lae but did not receive any response.

“The future of Morobe is in Wafi-Golpu so the State must do the right thing,” he said.

“There must be proper people-leader interaction for meaningful participation between resource owners, the Government and all interested parties.”

Source: The National / Pacific Mining Watch

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