Judge stays PNG Government's permit for Wafi-Golpu Mine Project

 Papua New Guinea's  deputy Chief Justice Ambeng Kandakasi has stayed the environmental permit issued by the Government for the Wafi Golpu mining project pending the judicial review case filed against the decision to issue it.

Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu and the Morobe government have asked the court to review the decision to issue the permit by the Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change Wera Mori and the managing director of Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) Gunther Joku.

Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu
Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu

They are arguing that the decision to issue the environment permit was ultra-vires, a denial of natural justice, biased and unreasonable.

They claim that there was a lack of proper consultation between the State and landowners regarding reports on the risk and impact of the Deep Sea Tailing Placement (DSTP) on the environment.

Justice Kandakasi ruled that a balance of convenience favoured the granting of the stay order to avoid possible losses.

He told the parties to have a careful look at the proposed waste management DSTP system which was the crust of the court case.

“I am persuaded, considering all arguments from both sides, that there is an arguable case present,” he said. “It appears to be possible breaches of the relevant provisions of the Environment Act 2002.

“And those serious questions will be determined in the substantive review.

“Counsel for the defendants did not assist me to put my hands on baseline studies carried out by whoever was preparing the Environment Impact Survey (EIS), the preliminary steps.”

The National / Pacific Mining News

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