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Port Moresby
December 2, 2021

Constitutional & Law Reform Commission On Disposal Laws

The Constitutional and Law Reform Commission is pushing for a ban on deep sea and river tailings placement in Papua New Guinea.

These two proposals were amongst the 19 recommendations that have been drafted and will be presented to the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, for perusal and cabinet approval.


Professionals from various government departMen’s and the private sector attended a public seminar at the Hideaway Hotel in Port Moresby, to make final commendations before presenting it to the minister.


There are a total of eight mines in PNG. three of these are purely gold mines, three gold and silver mines, one copper and gold and one nickel and copper.


These facts make our country one of the world’s resource rich nations, and pumps about three quarters of revenue into the country’s economy.


However, the issue on management of mine tailings disposal is said to have been overlooked over the years by government, developers and stakeholders, causing a national threat on the health of future generations, particularly on populations in the special mining lease areas.


Today’s seminar discussed the Constitutional Law and Reform Commission’s 19 recommendations to review the Environment and Mining laws relating to management and disposal of mine tailings.


Amongst solutions was the ban of deep sea and river mine waste disposals by mines in PNG.


These recommendations have been drafted by the working committee made up of members from the Mineral Resource Authority, DepartMen’s of Mineral Policy and Geohazards management, environment and conservation, health, mines and petroleum, environment, research and development and the University of Papua New Guinea.


They strongly recommended that the national government seriously look at the health and social impacts of mine waste disposal, rather than concentrating more on revenue generation.


However, other experts present at the seminar this morning said otherwise.


The working committee found many flaws in the environment and mining laws relating to mine waste disposal.


One of them was the absence of a health impact assessment.


Similar to the environment impact assessment, the committee suggested that an independent body be established to oversee health and social impact assessMen’s in all mine sites.


The recommendations are more administrative, and concentrated more on the environment, health and social impacts.


The Reform Commission said it may be too late to apply these recommendations on existing mines, but it is important that they be considered for future prospects.


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