Highlands News

Porgera Landowners Question Mining Warden Hearing

By Jack Lapauve Jnr – EMTV News, Port Moresby

Landowner factions in the Porgera Mine operation have questioned the recent mine warden hearing in Paiam.

They say the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) must follow procedures with proper consultation with landowners before a final decision for the exploration license is granted.

The leaders say developer, Barrick Gold, has not done enough in elevating the lives of people, but has caused destruction and pain to the people and environment.

Late last month, officials from the Mining Resource Authority, State, Enga Provincial Government, Barrick Gold and landowners, came together for the Mine Warden Hearing.

Landowners expressed their dissatisfaction and agreed on the other, however, the majority went against developer Barrick Gold.

Leaders say it was for a reason – developer Barrick has not delivered commitments signed in the agreement despite extracting gold.

For these landowners who are from the SML areas, they say the developer has not heard their cry. They want the company to be true to their word.

When EMTV visited a village not far from the mine’s pit, communities relatively live a simple life depending much on farming.

It was also visible with a large portion of waste dumped next to the village.

The current exploration license used by Barrick will expire in early 2019. The Mine Warden Hearing was to grasp landowner’s concerns.

MRA will now write a report before a committee decides.

Landowners want a fair consideration and situation on the ground for a better living with commitments agreed on to be fulfilled.

MRA and Barrick are yet to make an official statement regarding last month’s Mine Warden Hearing.

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