Porgera Justice Foundation urges the government to be honest in mining laws

By Jack Lapauve Jnr – EMTV News, Port Moresby

 

The chairman of the Papua New Guinea Justice Foundation has urged the government to serve the interest of resource owners.

Among environment damages and other issues, Chairman Jonathan Paraia believes people in the mining town have suffered enough.

A hefty sum to the tune of billions has been claimed as compensation for damages done, given the reason that developer Barrick has breached initial agreements signed in 1989.

For years the PNG Justice Foundation has spoken on behalf of the people affected by activities of the Porgera Mine.

Speaking in Port Moresby, the Chairman says the national  Government as the regulator and middle man has denied serving the interest of resource owners.

 “Landowners as we speak, they are suffering. Continuously mining 24 hours and foraging the environment and people are continuously suffering. They are drinking bad dirty poison water”, Chairman Jonathan Paraia said.

According to Chairman Paraia, Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation has breached initial mining agreements.

Two months ago, the mining warden hearing was held at Paiam town. A majority of clans situated in the heart of the mining operation were against the Government and Mining Resource Authority not to renew the license of developer Barrick.

Meanwhile, at the recent Mining Conference in Sydney, Minister responsible, Johnson Tuke, acknowledged the compensation claim submitted by concerned landowners.

Chairman Paraia says the Government must consider the plea made by resource owners.

“Our claim is based on actual facts and in actual breaches of agreement.  It’s not a makeup story like any other landowners in Papua New Guinea. Those are based on facts and law. There are more evidence to come.”

The arbitration will be held early next year, to iron out issues for the Porgera Mine.

For the Justice Foundation, they want to see fair consideration by the State and developer Barrick.

“They should take responsibility and look at meeting all the claims we are putting in”.

 

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