By Julie Badui Owa
The MRA hosted a Warden Hearing of a Mining Lease for the Maus Markham alluvial mining project in Morobe’s Huon Gulf District in Labu Butu last week.
The developer of the proposed project, Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited, a business arm of the Morobe Provincial Government that was established last year organised the event.
The project covers an area of over 700 hectares including the Markham River.
The Warden Hearing was headed here at the Labu Butu village of Wampar LLG, in the Huon Gulf District, Morobe. The Hearing is for the Warden to identify individuals present at the hearing and record their views.
Present at the event last week was Morobe Governor, Ginson Saonu, Mineral Resources Authority Deputy Chief Warden Gele Gavu and the four clans of the three Labu villages.
Whilst the clan leaders supported the call for the proposed project, these two clan leaders spoke about the impacts the project might have on their land and people.
The proposed Maus Markham alluvial mining project covers an area of over 700 hectares enclosing the Markham River. The developer of the mine is Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited, a business arm of the Provincial Government headed by CEO, Brigitta Pondros.
Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited was established last year and begin operations early this year to support the Provincial Government’s family income support program.
Governor Saonu said the mine would increase gold production, revenue and employment for the people of Morobe.
The Deputy Chief Warden will have to submit the hearing report to the Board for further deliberations before the Mining Advisory Council considers Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited’s application for grants of the tenement from the report submitted.
The Minister for Mining will then have to approve or disapprove from the recommendations from the Advisory Council and according to the safe mining practices and healthy environmental concerns.
According to Morobe Governor, Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited hasn’t conducted social mapping and has not yet surveyed the proposed mine area.