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Landowners not happy with mine

  1. rom Internet Version http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

    Landowners not happy with mine

    landowners of the Kainantu gold-mine area have expressed dissatisfaction over the issuing of the mining lease to the developers of the project— Highlands Pacific Limited.
    They said yesterday they were not happy with the procedures that were used by the Minster for Mining Chris Haiveta to issue the licence.
    Landowner Association chairman James Mianghe, deputy chairman Timothy Peuti and spokesman Bernard Kalontii said they were also not happy with the environmental plan that was approved by the Minister for Environment and Conservation early last month.
    Mr Kalontii said that requirements such as the registration of landowner associations, compensation agreement and the memorandum of understanding that were supposed to have been done prior to the signing did not happen.
    “The Mining Department has failed the landowners on the events, forums and procedures leading up to the signing,” Mr Kalontii said.
    “As it is, now that the lease is granted, we can see that the department and the minister acted in the interest of the developer and not the landowners.”
    He said the landowners wanted to participate in the project but the Department of Mining and Highlands Pacific left them out of their negotiations on equity.
    The Kainantu Gold Mine in Irumafimpa, Eastern Highlands Province would be 100 per cent owned and operated by Highlands Pacific.
    Mr Kalontii said the developer should look at the long-term benefits to the landowners and reverse its decision to build a mining township in Ramu, constructing a link road from the mine to the township and the point of sale of gold, all built in Goroka or near the mine within the Eastern Highlands Province.
    He said the department was yet to address the issue of environmental damage caused by the mining lease (374) that was issued by the colonial rulers in 1964 to Bilimoia mining company.
    “If these issues are not addressed there will always be problems among all stakeholders in the project.”

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