Papua New Guinea MP Sam Basil says he feels “totally deceived” by the conduct of mining companies Harmony Gold and Newcrest Mining. The companies jointly own the Hidden Valley mine in his electorate.
“I am disgusted by the[ir] two-faced behaviour “ says Mr Basil.
The MP had been trying to negotiate with the mining companies over their pollution of the Watut river and last week the miners made a joint statement with Mr Basil announcing an expert technical advisory panel to review the sediment and pollution issues affecting the Watut river.
In return, Mr Basil says, he agreed to delay issuing legal proceedings to see if the issues could be settled co-operatively without involving the courts.
But, in breach of that agreement, Mr Basil says Hidden Valley has been attempting to buy off the potential plaintiffs with single payments of K1,200 compensation.
“I feel completely deceived”, says Mr Basil. “I have tried to negotiate in good-faith with the mining company even though they have been covering up the pollution problem for over a year”
“As a result of the discussions I thought we had established a clear road-map to resolve the pollution issues and I was prepared to trust their word. Instead the miners have gone behind my back and tried to buy-off the landowners”.