Porgera Mine Closure affecting many People in PNG

 THE people of Porgera in Enga and others around PNG who rely on the mine are feeling the pinch of the closure of the Porgera gold mine, says acting district administrator Jerry Mapu.

“We are feeling a lot of effects such as power outages, deteriorating roads, businesses shutting down and many schools and aid posts closed,” he said.

Mapu said Paiela-Hewa local level government had all but closed down with an aid post the only service still open.

“Public servants do not want to come and work here,” he said.

“We are the only ones here working.”

Mapu said in terms of the mine, all stakeholders needed to learn from their mistakes.

“The Government, company and landowners must come to a round table discussion to discuss some way forward for the future of Porgera,” he said. “Otherwise, we don’t have a future.

“We are suffering.

“The bulk of the population are suffering.”

Porgera has an estimated population of 76,000.

According to the district administration, the district directly and indirectly benefits from the mine.

It said the impact of the closure on top of the Covid-19 had doubled the impact on the people.

“The bad road conditions from Wabag to Porgera has also made it difficult for businesses and trucks to bring in services such as fuel and others,” Mapu said.

“It is also hard to travel, how can teachers, doctors and workers get here?

“It’s important that the Government gives priority to Porgera for the maintenance of the road.”

Another key issue highlighted was school fees.

The district administration said since the mine had stopped operating, SML (special mining lease) landowners and beneficiaries of the mine’s SML trust fund and the surrounding communities engaged with the mine had lost their means of revenue to pay for their children’s school fees among other things.

He said the Government had to make a decision quickly on the mine so that the district could get back to how it was in the past.

The National / Pacific Mining Watch

Next : PNG lost over K111 million over Porgera Mine closure

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