PNG Government determined to follow all processes in reopening Porgera Mine : PM

 Papua New Guinea PRIME Minister James Marape is determined to see all processes required to re-open the new Porgera mine done transparently, with no room allowed for corrupt dealings.

He therefore wants an investigation conducted into allegations by a group of Porgera mine landowners that the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) had approached them to sign a consent letter to defer the compensation agreement so that the mine could be reopened.

“These are some serious allegations and would have to be looked into,” Marape said.

“All processes were done transparently and by the book, as we work towards reopening the mine.”

Mining Minister Sir Ano Pala agreed that the allegations were very serious which he would look into it.

Attempts to get a comment from MRA acting managing director Jerry Garry were not successful.

A copy of the interim agreement to delay the compensation process was given to The National.

Porgera Landowners Association chairman Mark Ekepa alleged that 25 agents of the association were offered payments to agree to delaying the compensation deal.

Ekepa said the mine, which was closed down by the Government in April 2020, would not be re-opened until the compensation deal was finalised satisfactory.

“For 30 years, we gave up our land in the best interest of this nation. We are talking about more than 2,000 hectares,” Ekepa said.

“It was our home. Imagine the number of villages, gardens, hunting grounds that had to be removed to make way for the mine, the number of people that have lived with no land for 30 years.

“And you’re asking for another 20 years, when the Government and the developer have failed to relocate the displaced landowners, and compensate us.

“Now you want us to consent to delaying the compensation process again?”

“This is part of the reason we, the landowners of the mine, boycotted the forum last November.

“We told Prime Minister James Marape to start the relocation programme as a show of goodwill that the compensation will be made.

“So that the mine can be reopened.”

Statement/Pacific Mining Watch

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