Member of Parliament, Sam Basil, says a statement issued by the Hidden Valley mine on 16 December, claiming he has withdrawn legal proceedings over the pollution of the Watut river is untrue.
“I have not withdrawn the legal proceedings on behalf of 110 landowners who have been seriously impacted by the pollution of the Watut river by sediment and heavy metals from the Hidden Valley mine”.
“For the Hidden Valley mine to claim that I had made an announcement to that effect is incorrect”.
Mr Basil says he has been in dialogue with the mining company, Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV) and representatives of its owners, Harmony Gold and Newcrest Mining, in an attempt to find a satisfactory resolution of the issues without having to go through lengthy and expensive court proceedings.
“To that end I have agreed not to take any further steps with the litigation until my lawyers and scientists meet with the mine owners in January. But I have not, and I repeat have not, withdrawn the proceedings”.
“I am also very disappointed that MMJV have not issued a further media release, as requested by my lawyers, correcting the public record”.