Pomio Environment Concerns

By Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby

Minister for Environment and Conservation, John Pundari, is concerned about the state allowing small companies to undertake mining activities in Papua New Guinea.

Pundari expressed this concern in parliament yesterday when responding to environmental damage questions raised by the Member for Pomio, Elias Kapavore.

Kapavore was referring to the waste left behind in the Sinivit LLG in East New Britain Province by the project operator New Guinea Gold.

It was back to business in parliament yesterday, after the budget was passed in a majority vote.

During Questions Without Notice, Kapavore asked the Minister responsible if he was aware of the environmental dilemma caused by New Guinea Gold when exploring the Sinivit Gold Mine area in what is also known as the Wild Dog structure in East New Britain.

John Pundari said his department became aware of the situation in 2014, after which technical officers were sent to the site and a report is being compiled.

He assured the member and people of Pomio that he would use every legal means possible to make sure the developer answers to the environmental damage it caused.

Pundari said the department tried to negotiate with the developer, but without success, as directors of the company have all fled overseas.

The Minister for Environment and Conservation said as a form of security the government should now encourage environmental bonds to avoid such circumstances in future.

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