State Negotiations will commence once more on the Wafi-Golpu gold and copper mine project.
This follows the signing of the agreement between the National Government and the Morobe provincial government to further talks with the developer.
“Lets get the process moving in the right direction and so today is a milestone for us in as far as this project is concerned,” Prime Minister, James Marape said.
The agreement to come to the round table as one government to talk follows legal battles stemming from claims by the Morobe government over unequal equities to landowners and immediate local government on the ground.
“The Morose Provincial government initiated this conversation on behalf of the landowners and all the districts concerned for us to seat, talk, sign an undertaking,” Marape said while acknowledging the leadership of the Morose Governor Ginson Saonu at the gathering.
The Governor said,” This country is given to us by God for the citizens of this country and therefore anyone or anybody from other countries want to deal with us, they must understand us first in terms of what belongs to us and those of the future generation”.
The Prime Minister said without permitting the outcome, “There’s a proposed draft milestone dates going towards finally establishing a mining development contract as well as issuance of an Special Mining Lease (SML) in as far as this project is concerned”.
The government says for any resource project derogates from the laws of the country and international best practises:
- Denies landowner participation;
- Fails to protect the environment;
- Displaces communities without redress;
- Avoid and evade paying due taxes;
- And negate local and national content and up-skilling of Papua New Guinean’s and will not support government.
Marape said, “As a responsible leaders, we must strive to balance the cries of our people with the needs of the investors”.
By Bradley Valenaki, EMTV News, Port Moresby.