PNG PM tries to fool the world with false lament on declining oceans

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill Photo: Joosep Martinson

Mr O’Neill conveniently forgot to tell the United Nations his govt is the first to allow experimental seabed mining and one of the very few to allow ocean dumping of toxic mine waste (DSTP), instead he chose to pretend he cares about our declining oceans…

PNG leader laments declining health of oceans

Radio New Zealand | 25 September 2017

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister has conveyed deep concern over the declining health of the world’s oceans.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Peter O’Neill said global fish stocks were being decimated and ecosystems destroyed by human activity.

He said while Pacific countries were feeling the greatest impacts, the problem was of global relevance that required greater global action.

“We share growing concerns over the declining health of our oceans and seas that sustain so many nations. Uncontrolled and poorly regulated human activities, including illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, pollutants and plastics and of course marine debris are killing our waterways.”

Mr O’Neill said many PNG communities were being forces to abandon their traditional homes because the decline of ocean health means loss of food and livelihoods for them.

According to him, PNG is doing what it can to address the problem – an integrated national oceans policy has sought a coherent cross-agency approach to ocean governance.

But he stressed the need for more action on reducing harmful human activities in relation to oceans.

Mr O’Neill welcomed the first-ever Oceans Conference in support of Sustainable Development Goal 14 on conservation and sustainable use of oceans.

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Tuke Optimistic About Mining Act Review

Post Courier | September 21, 2017

Mining Minister Johnson Tuke says he is optimistic about the outcome of the Mining Act review.

Mr Tuke told the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum this during his ministerial meeting yesterday.

He told the Chamber officials that despite his proposal to review the Mining Act which has created a lot of anxiety within the industry, he is optimistic of an outcome that would be accepted by affected parties.

He said as per the review of the Mining Act, his ministry and the National Government were working in line with government priorities to address it.

He said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will meet with the Secretary for Department of Mining Harry Kore for a briefing on the review of the Mining Act this week and that the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) and the Department of Mining will also conduct a power-point presentation next week for all industry stakeholders.

His meeting with the chamber was to enhance the ministry’s relationship with the industry at which the minister said he is more than happy to hear what the chamber has to say regarding the mining industry in Papua New Guinea.

“All economic ministries have been given a 100-day ultimatum to perform by the National Government and therefore I would like to work closely with you, the Department of Mining, Mineral Resources Authority and all extractive industry companies in order to realise the government’s agenda.

“My plan is to visit all mining projects in Papua New Guinea as minister responsible and I would like to meet with company officials and discuss matters of importance,” said the Minister.

He also announced that during his term in the ministry he will take on board the Wafi-Golpu and Frieda River mining projects and ensure that these important mines are operational.

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Redevelopment plan for new Panguna mine project underway

Abandoned BCL bus

The National aka The Loggers Times | September 21, 2017

THE Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) is working to implement its staged redevelopment plan for a new Panguna mining project and further build community support.

“We are actively building positive relationships and will continue to increase our presence in Central Bougainville over the coming months as we expand our community engagement activities,” said Executive Manager Justin Rogers.

Rogers led a BCL community engagement team with Buka-based Bougainville Manager Ephraim Eminoni and two senior project officers where they spent four days at Arawa, Central Bougainville.

The team met local stakeholders earlier this month which coincided with the opening of two major events – the national boxing championships and the 2017 Bougainville Chocolate Festival.

In addressing the opening ceremony, Rogers said;

“It was a chance for us to acknowledge the important parts played by the cocoa industry and the sport of boxing in terms of fostering economic development in Bougainville and the development of people more broadly.”

“Boxing provides opportunities for Bougainvilleans to not only train and compete at the local level, but to shine on the world stage, with no better example than young champion Thaddeus Katoa.”

Rogers said Bougainville’s cocoa industry looked to have a very bright future and had earned international recognition for the quality of its produce.

BCL considered the development of primary industries and other areas of potential, such as tourism, as critical to Bougainville’s future economic success, of which employment was fundamental.

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Ongoing unrest affecting Porgera mine operations

The National aka The Loggers Times | September 20, 2017

PORGERA mine operations have been disrupted by the ongoing unrest and roadblocks, according to mine operator Barrick Niugini Limited.

Executive managing director Richmond Fenn said it had significantly impacted communities and businesses in the district.

“The unrest and violence we have seen in recent weeks, combined with frequent road closures on the Highlands Highway, not only impact operations at the Porgera mine, but also prevent the movement of people and goods to and from the region,” Fenn said.

“We hope that the situation improves soon, and we are working to assist the government and community leaders in bringing about lasting peace in the area.”

The two-week closure of the Wabag-Porgera road was lifted yesterday but a truck belonging to iPi Transport was torched soon after.

iPi Transport general manager Maso Mangape told The National that the roadblock was set up by relatives of a boy alleged to have been killed by the security forces last month.

“As two of our trucks were returning empty from Porgera, one was held up or hijacked at the Liop-Ipai section of the road just before Laiagam, and torched. Nothing is recoverable,” Mangape said.

“We are yet to establish the reasons and motives behind this action. It was at around the same location that a local was held up in his bus and shot dead about two weeks ago.”

Roadblocks at Surunki, Jiwaka and Chuave in the past two months “have cost this company so much”.
Mangape said it was frustrating for road-users such as iPi servicing the giant Porgera gold mine and helping contribute to the economy of this country, pay taxes and create employment.

“It is disappointing to see the Government not acting promptly to address these issues on the road,” he said.

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Coal plant proposal for PNG city a poor option – NGO

Lae, Papua New Guinea Photo: RNZI/ Johnny Blades

Radio New Zealand | 19 September, 2017 

A proposal for a coal-fired power plant in Lae is a poor economic and environmental option, according to an anti-coal group in Papua New Guinea.

The proposal by Mayur Resources to build a plant on the Lae Tidal Basin has lingered for a couple of years, but failed to get a purchase agreement from PNG Power.

However Mayur had approval from PNG Ports through its re-development of Lae’s important port area.

But Chris Lahberger from Nogat Coal PNG said the government knew that a coal plant was not an efficient way to generate energy.

“But it just looks awful as well, as PNG is a signatory to the Paris (Climate) Agreement to go one hundred percent renewable, and a coal mine with a forty year life span,” Mr Lahberger said.

“Mayur are now suggesting that the life span of this coal plant to be fifteen years. But the economics of that just doesn’t stack up. Like you would not make your money back from your investment if you ran it for just fifteen years.”

Mr Lahberger said renewable energy was a better alternative.

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Canadian First Nations reject mining proposal after conducting their own intensive review

The proposed location at Pípsell is a sacred, culturally and historically important site to the First Nations. Photo: Wilderness Committee

Could this be a model for communities in Papua New Guinea? 

Rather than relying on mining company propaganda, lets do our own independent assessments of mining proposals…

KGHM Ajax Mining Inc. wants to build the Ajax open-pit copper and gold mine near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia in Canada

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The Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) representing the First Nation communities in the area conducted their own thorough 18-month review of the project and have said NO to the Ajax mine project.

The SSN reviewed 20,000 pages of information and over 300 reports. They held a public comment period and heard from over 80 experts at an oral panel hearing.

From what they learned the SSN determined that the project is too risky for the health and well-being of the Secwepemc and everyone else.

The federal government has committed to a fairer environmental assessment process and to respecting the rights and title of Indigenous Peoples. Will they honour that commitment and reject the Ajax mine for good?

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We are being softened up for the re-opening of Panguna mine

Panguna mine – now back in play

Leonard Fong Roka | PNG Attitude | 15 September 2017

PANGUNA – There is a lot happening in central Bougainville around the now derelict Panguna mine.

Two local groups, with external financial backing, are engaged in awareness programs – campaigning if you like – for re-opening the mine that operated for about 20 years until hostilities closed it in 1989.

Thence followed the loss of some 10-15,000 Bougainvillean lives and millions and millions of kina worth of damage to assets and property.

Both of these groups on the make are yet to explain to us who suffered directly in the 10 year civil war how this ‘awareness’ or ‘campaigning’ for the re-opening of the mine will affect us and what our role may be.

The English word ‘awareness’ (Concise Oxford 11th Edition) is defined as ‘having knowledge or perception of a situation or fact’ while campaign has two meanings: the military definition which I’ll ignore and the other – ‘an organised course of action to achieve a goal’.

Last Monday I sent a text message to Bougainville Copper Ltd manager Justin Rogers, who was about to board a plane from Buka to Port Moresby. The missive was about mine-related activities in Central Bougainville, especially about the mine re-opening which is being pushed aggressively by the leaders of both the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Panguna New Generation Leaders (PNGL).

Mr Rogers’ reply said:

“The issue at the moment is interests in mineral rights. Our interest is to start a project to see if mining is viable. There is no mine until someone proves it is commercially and technically [viable].”

This communication shed some light that the current campaign to re-open the mine is a home-grown strategy devised by economically and financially uncreative leaders; a leadership that is not oriented to nation-building but blinded by a characteristic Third World dependency syndrome.

That is why the current themes being pushed down the throats of our poor people are, ‘no mining, no referendum’ and ‘no mining, no independence’.

It is clear to me that both the ABG and PNGL are campaigning for the re-opening of the mine.

I enquired of Mr Rogers why themes as ‘no mining, no referendum’ and ‘no mining, no independence’ were being promoted with BCL funding.

His response was simply:

“BCL hopes to come soon to Panguna and start delivering our own messages. Just letting mediation and MOU [memorandum of understanding] processes run their course first.”

So anxiety is being generated in the hearts and minds of the Bougainville people that the Bougainville referendum needs the Panguna mine and, if people vote ‘yes’ to independence that ‘yes’ will come to fruition only with the re-opening of Panguna mine.

This is the clear strategy of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and Panguna New Generation Leaders.

For us who live in and around Panguna, the ‘no mining, no referendum’ theme is unfounded. The referendum scheduled for 2019 will happen with or without mining in Panguna. It has been legislated for in the laws of PNG and Bougainville.

The fear triggered by ‘no mining, no independence’ is politically shortsighted.

If we vote for independence without a mine at Panguna and the result is upheld by PNG, our ‘yes’ will nullify all existing PNG laws that exploit the revenue we should be earning from our cocoa, copra, seaweed, sea cucumbers, alluvial gold and many other revenue sources.

These represent millions of dollars’ worth of income we never receive under the PNG state apparatus and their value measured against our population is more than the mine could generate after BCL and the PNG government get their shares.

Thus the callous activity of promoting the re-opening of the mine is a campaign and not an awareness program to educate the ordinary people of the Panguna, Bana and Kieta who have lost our land, jungle, rivers and more; and are considered by state and corporate interests as nobodies.

Let ABG, PNGL and BCL also tell us what they are doing to respect our Bougainvillean customs and traditional practices and what they will do to honour our lost relatives and property.

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