Monthly Archives: July 2014

MCC, Newcrest and Harmony Gold refuse entry to government appointed Commission

keepout

Mines refuse entry to team

Post Courier

AN infight among government agencies resulted in the Constitutional Law Reform Commission being barred access by three mining companies into their sites.

This was made known during a public seminar convened by the commission to present its report on the “Review of environmental and mining laws relating to management and disposal of tailings”.

The commission’s secretary Eric Kwa said the working committee had planned on visiting a total of five mines.

However, they were refused entry by the operators at Hidden Valley in Morobe, Lihir in New Ireland and Ramu Nickel project in Madang. They were allowed in at Ok Tedi, Western Province, and Porgera in Enga Province.

Mr Kwa said the incident stemmed from an alleged infighting which arose during the course of the exercise with a department (named), whom he stated had accused the commission to be hijacking their roles and function.

“We flew into Hidden Valley and when we arrived at the gate we were told that they had decided not to let us in. This is a government department trying to review the law. Who on earth has the right to stop the government from entering a mining site.

“We flew to Madang and to Lihir only to be told the same thing. Why? We only went there because we wanted to know how the law is being applied, so that we could frame them in a manner that would be good for our people.

“We had gone there because the people had spoken and because the government has listened and given us clear directions,” he said.

Mr Kwa stressed the entity to be mandated by the government to review all laws.

He said the team had not gone with the intent to criticise the existing mines about their operations.

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Constitutional Commission calls for ban on river and marine waste dumping

CONSTITUTIONAL & LAW REFORM COMMISSION ON DISPOSAL LAWS

EMTV

The Constitutional and Law Reform Commission is pushing for a ban on deep sea and river tailings placement in Papua New Guinea.

These two proposals were amongst the 19 recommendations that have been drafted and will be presented to the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, for perusal and cabinet approval.

Professionals from various government departments and the private sector attended a public seminar at the Hideaway Hotel in Port Moresby, to make final commendations before presenting it to the minister.

There are a total of eight mines in PNG. three of these are purely gold mines, three gold and silver mines, one copper and gold and one nickel and copper.

These facts make our country one of the world’s resource rich nations, and pumps about three quarters of revenue into the country’s economy.

However, the issue on management of mine tailings disposal is said to have been overlooked over the years by government, developers and stakeholders, causing a national threat on the health of future generations, particularly on populations in the special mining lease areas.

Today’s seminar discussed the Constitutional Law and Reform Commission’s 19 recommendations to review the Environment and Mining laws relating to management and disposal of mine tailings.

Amongst solutions was the ban of deep sea and river mine waste disposals by mines in PNG.

These recommendations have been drafted by the working committee made up of members from the Mineral Resource Authority, Departments of Mineral Policy and Geohazards management, environment and conservation, health, mines and petroleum, environment, research and development and the University of Papua New Guinea.

They strongly recommended that the national government seriously look at the health and social impacts of mine waste disposal, rather than concentrating more on revenue generation.

However, other experts present at the seminar this morning said otherwise.

The working committee found many flaws in the environment and mining laws relating to mine waste disposal.

One of them was the absence of a health impact assessment.

Similar to the environment impact assessment, the committee suggested that an independent body be established to oversee health and social impact assessments in all mine sites.

The recommendations are more administrative, and concentrated more on the environment, health and social impacts.

The Reform Commission said it may be too late to apply these recommendations on existing mines, but it is important that they be considered for future prospects.

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Commission wants river dumping of mine tailings banned

Kwa: Ban disposal method

Rosalyn Albaniel | Post Courier

ONE of 19 recommendations that will be put to the government in a report by the Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC) is the total banning of riverine tailings disposal.

This was revealed by the secretary of the commission Eric Kwa (pictured) during a public seminar held in Port Moresby yesterday.

The purpose of the seminar, which was attended by a wide range of stakeholders, was to allow the commission to present its findings and recommendations of the draft report it conducted on the terms of reference 6 (TOR) issued by the national Government in 2007 following the Angabanga experiences.

Mr Kwa said based on the wide consultation that it had held on its “Review of the environmental and mining laws relating to management and disposal of tailings”, it would be recommending that amendments be made to the Mining Act of 1992 for a total ban of the riverine tailings disposal method. This will not affect existing mines but those that will come on line in the future.

Mr Kwa said this recommendation was being made for a number of reasons, including that rivers are something many depend on for their livelihood.

According to the report just concluded by the commission, PNG currently employs three tailings methods, riverine tailings disposal (RTD); deep sea tailings disposal (DSTP) and tailings storage facility (TSF).

Its states that the riverine system is highly criticised internationally and nationally and that the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) has acknowledged that it is a method that is not encouraged for future mines in PNG.

Bougainville Copper Limited had, in its submission to the commission, stated “Rio Tinto avoids implementing RTD in new operations and projects and recommends that all tailing management options should be available for consideration and assessment for new projects. However, riverine and shallow marine tailings disposals are unlikely to be acceptable for new projects”.

The report states that Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) has also informed the commission that under the Ok Tedi Mine legislation, it submits an environmental report to MRA on September 30 of every year and this report is forwarded to the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Mr Kwa said many of the recommendations were “administrative”.

He said the report is now out and the commission is giving all stakeholders a month for their final input before the final report is compiled and given to the Government.

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Small scale mining workshop for Bougainvilleans

Jennifer Nkui | New Dawn

Small scale mining for gold has become a big industry in Bougainville and is a source of income for thousands of people.

People are mining and washing gold in parts of Torokina in South west Bougainville, Tinputz in North

Bougainville, Eivo in East coast Bougainville, Panguna, the Kawerong and Jaba rivers in Central Bougainville, Konnou in South Bougainville and other areas.

Small scale mining for gold is a new industry that only began in the late 1990’s.

A two day workshop on small scale mining for Bougainvilleans will be held in Buka starting tomorrow, Thursday July 31 to Friday, August 01 to look at Bougainville’s experiences and compare it with international developments.

The workshop will be attended by more than thirty people involved in small scale mining in different parts of Bougainville and it will be opened by ABG president chief Dr. John Momis together with the ABG minister for Natural resources Michael Oni.

The workshop is part of a research project funded by the Australian government and is organized by Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh form Griffith University and Anthony Regan from the Australian National University and is in partnership with the ABG and the University centre at Kubu.

The main aim of the workshop is to get a better understanding of this important new industry in Bougainville to help the ABG get a better understanding of both the good things and problems of small scale mining.

The organizers want to know how ABG, the miners and other Bougainvilleans can together make the industry work best for Bougainville.

They said the discussion at the workshop will help set the direction for the work of the whole research project.

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ABG to make another attempt to pass controversial new Mining Law

SPEAKER RECALLS PARLIAMENT TO MEET

Jennifer Nkui | New Dawn 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Andrew Miriki today issued a notice calling the House to meet on August 6, 2014.

He said the reason for the House to convene this meeting is to consider the advice of the Bougainville Executive Council for the House to debate and pass the three important proposed laws on;

  • A Bill for an Act entitled “Bougainville Mining (Transitional Arrangements) Bill 2014”
  • A Bill for an Act entitled “Bougainville Senior Appointments Act 2014” and
  • A Bill for an Act entitled “Principal Legal Advisor Act 2014”

Speaker Miriki said the copies of the Bills have been received by the Parliament and members of the House are urged to get a copy each from their respective mailbox at the parliament this week

He stressed that because the Bills are very important, members are encouraged to study them carefully before they are debated on the floor of parliament on August 6, 2014.

He calls on all honorable members to attend this important meeting of the House on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 which will commence at 10 am in the morning.

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MRA hands out World Bank lollipops

12 PNG Women Groups Impacted By Mining To Receive Grants
National Gov and World Bank Funds for a range small enterprises

Post-Courier

Twelve women associations and groups in mine impacted communities in the country have been selected to receive government grants worth over K1m [$US400,000]. The associations are from Ramu Nickel Mining project area, Porgera, Hidden Valley, Simberi, Sinivit and Lihir.

The 12 are part of a total of 33 associations and groups that applied for the grants. The unsuccessful applicants will be assisted and their applications re-assed with the view to enable them to access the grants.

The grants come under the National Government’s assistance scheme called Small Grants Project (SGP) for women impacted by mining operations, funded through the World Bank Mining Sector Institutional Strengthening Technical Assistance Project 2.

The SGP is being managed by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) with support from relevant government agencies which are departments are National Planning & Monitoring, Department of Agriculture & Livestock, Community Development, Commerce & Industry, Education, Works, Justice & Attorney General and Environment & Conservation.

The SGP is aimed at assisting associations start up small enterprises or further develop existing ones with the ultimate aim of enabling the women sustain their livelihoods beyond life of mines operating in their areas.

The successful applicants were selected based on set criteria including the capacity to sustain their projects in the long-term. All applicants were taken through the criteria in two workshops held earlier this year.

Representatives of successful associations are in Lae this week to undergo training on project management so that they can be able to properly manage the grants when they receive them.

The next stage of the SGP would be the disbursements of the grants by the MRA, implementation of the projects by the associations followed by monitoring and evaluation by the MRA.

The MRA’s Manager for Sustainability & Planning Branch Stella Brere encouraged the women to be committed to the SGP process and ensure that their enterprises are managed well once they receive the grants.

She said this project was important to the women’s livelihoods and if they managed their projects well, they could attract further assistance in the future.

A happy Ampawi Maxwell of Nauti Women’s Group of Hidden Valley Project in Bulolo District said her group plans to purchase a vehicle and operate a transport service between Lae and Nauti in Bulolo District. Her group is one of the 12 successful applicants.

The MRA’s Managing Director Philip Samar said the SGP concept was consistent with the Authority’s mission and vision which is to effectively and sustainably manage the mining sector so as to benefit all stakeholders. He said the MRA was committed to assisting the women’s groups by facilitating the SGP.

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The Pacific History they don’t teach at school…

… because they want us to be dependent on their mining, logging and oil and gas companies.

… because they don’t want us to stay true to our own Pacific Ways.

… because they don’t want us to set our own development path.

The PACIFIC HISTORY they dont teach at school DVD out now!

Learn about the great Polynesian NAVIGATORS who were in America hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus. Learn about the lost written language of Polynesia, The RONGORONGO SCRIPT. Learn about the Polynesians who were traded as slaves In Australia. Learn about the famous LESA Court Case where the Privy Council, the highest Court in the Commonwealth, made ALL Samoans born IN Samoa New Zealand citizens! Learn about the Genocide of our Pacific Brothers and Sisters in West Papua and much more!

Order a copy now! Email us at orders@everyoneforsamoa.com or find us on our Everyone For Samoa facebook and twitter pages or our website everyoneforsamoa.com. But this isnt for just Samoans. Its for all the people of the Pacific!

It is time for our PACIFIC HISTORY to be taught and it is time to see the brilliance in your Culture and History, and in yourself!

 

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World Renowned scientists urges Pacific Leaders to be cautious with oceans exploration

Makereta Komai | PACNEWS

sea-bed

World renowned marine scientist, Dr Sylvia Earle has urged Forum Island Countries not to drop the ball on the sustainable management and protection of oceans and marine resources.

She is delighted with the initiative of the Palaun Government to make ‘Oceans’ the theme of the 45th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Koror, Palau this week.

Dr Earle, who is the founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research and honored by Time magazine as the first Hero of the Planet was the keynote speaker at the Panel of Experts Monday convened by the Government of Palau to deliberate on the theme, “The Ocean: Life & Future.”

She urged Pacific Leaders to ‘protect the oceans as if their lives depended on it.”

“Only five percent of the oceans have been explored and the rest remains unknown. This therefore requires us to consider a cautionary approach if we are to explore what is in our oceans, said Dr Earle.

Armed with knowledge and ‘the use of latest technology, Dr Earle urged Pacific decision makers to ‘explore with care’ opportunities available in their exclusive economic zones before committing to exploration work

She qualified her cautionary approach saying ‘if there is no ocean, there is no life.’ Livelihoods of peoples in the Pacific rely heavily on the oceans and its resources.

Addressing Pacific journalists here in Koror Saturday, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s director strategic planning & co-ordination, Alex Knox assured that Forum Leaders will make Oceans one of their priorities with an expected Declaration at the end of the weeklong Summit in Koror this week.

“What we are trying to do at the regional level is put in place some coherence and build a single policy around Oceans so that we see Oceans not from a fisheries, conservation or deep sea mining lenses but as a single policy.

To build coherence at the regional level, a broad coalition of all stakeholders involved in the work of oceans called the Pacific Oceans Alliance has been created to bring all the parties together to focus on oceans as a single sector, said Knox.

The Pacific Oceans Alliance to be launched at the 3rd United Nations Global Conference for Small Island Developing States in Samoa in early September is open to governments, civil societies, CROP agencies and development partners.

“It was created to provide more coherence framework on how countries engaged around oceans. It looked at the institutions and policies around oceans.

The Pacific Oceans Alliance came out of the Pacific Oceanscape regional policy pushed by Kiribati in 2010.

One of the initiatives under the Pacific Oceanscape framework was the appointment of Tuiloma Neroni Slade as the first ever Oceans commissioner for the region.

“The office of the Oceans Commissioner places strong political engagement within and outside the region on oceans issues.”

“An Oceans Leaders Declaration will be issued at the end of the Summit. It is a broad statement on Oceans where Leaders show their commitment to taking leadership on Oceans issues like they did in Majuro when Leaders made a declaration on climate change, said Knox.

One of the challenges for Oceans is that there are many difference interests in Oceans both at the national and regional level.

“Trying to bring some interests together will be quite challenging – that is why the Leaders Declaration is critical because it can start to drive a vision and change around the regional policy.

“We can build resources and institutions around the regional framework. Unless there is money and people that can push it, it won’t happen. This Declaration will have the Pacific Oceans Alliance, the Oceans Commissioner and resources to support it.

“We expect to have some form of annual report – like the annual State of the Oceans report to come out of this that will provide the basis for long term monitoring framework, said Knox.

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Kula Gold edges closer to production with mining lease award

Proactive Investors

Kula Gold‘s shares are expected to firm after receiving the Mining Lease documentation for its Woodlark Island Gold Project on Woodlark Island in Papua New Guinea.

Woodlark Island is located 600 kilometres east of Port Moresby, and receipt of the Mining Lease secures the company’s title over the Woodlark Island Gold Project for 20 years with the ability to extend for a further 10 years.

This is a significant milestone for Kula, and confirms the PNG Government is committed and supportive of a 1.8mtpa gold processing plant on Woodlark.

The Mining Lease was issued following a comprehensive review of Kula’s Definitive Feasibility Study by the PNG Mineral Resources Authority, confirming the Project delivers favourable returns at the current gold price.

Environmental Impact Statement and other community aspects have also been reviewed by the PNG Department of Environment and Conservation resulting in the grant of the Environment Permit in February 2014.

With the receipt of the Mining Lease Kula Gold now has achieved all regulatory approvals necessary to commence the development phase of the Woodlark Island Gold Project.

The Feasibility Study, completed in September 2012, defined a 2004 JORC Resource of 2.1 million ounces and an Ore Reserve of 766,000 ounces based on an optimised gold price of US$1,200 per ounce.

The 9 year Project is based around three open pit mining areas and a 1.8Mtpa gravity and carbon-in-leach plant.

There is also upside potential through the conversion of inferred resources and numerous nearby exploration targets within a short distance of the proposed process plant location.

Kula is presently valued at a seemingly light $13 million.

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Why Bel Kol with BCL is not well received by local people of Bougainville

ACT NOW!

panguna

The Panguna Landowners Association executives and stakeholders have been blowing the Bel Kol with Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) trumpet over the past weeks creating awareness’s in and around Central Bougainville.

However, this initiative is not well received by the local people, whom most implied that the initiative does not make sense at all. In interviews carried out at different locations in the Central and South of the region, many expressed confusion with the ongoing talks of bel kol with BCL on the grounds that ‘BCL is a company’, and that ‘BCL is governed by laws that do not reconcile with the customary laws of the people’.

What most people voiced out is that ‘how can the people reconcile with a company? The Bel kol ritual has and is always between groups of people governed by a common understanding, under the same customary laws. “What custom does BCL have with the people of Bougainville?” was a question posed by one respondent.

Another went on to question why have the bel kol now when the ten billion kina compensation claim put forward by the then PLA executives under Francis Ona and Perpetua Serero, for environmental damages is still outstanding. Hence, respondent summed up by questioning ‘what does the Bel Kol qualify for?’

Many also have expressed great disappointment in the Panguna Landowners Association (PLA) representatives, whom are seen as BCL agents lying to the people in the effort to reopen the mine. ‘Mipla ol manmeri lo ples nogat bilip moa long displa landowners association (We the people in the ground do not have any more trust in this landowner association)’.

Some have said to allow BCL to make the Bel Kol payment, but never allow the reopening. ‘Larim ol mekim payment, tasol mine bai no inap open (Let them (BCL) make the payment, but the mine will not open)’.

And when the respondents were asked if they were in support of the mine reopening, almost all said ‘no’. Only a few implied that the ‘reopening can happen after independence on the terms and conditions of the people of Bougainville’

Though, on media and public awareness the Bel Kol initiative is seemed to be making progress, the general sentiment of the people on the ground implies something contrary. There is nothing to show for in terms of BCL’s presence on the ground except the occasional appearance by PLA whenever need be for awareness on the mining issue. Women especially have expressed disgust over why the PLA ‘men’ have completely ignored the wishes of the people on the ground.

Generally, there is distrust and apprehension by the people towards those who represent them, and they should be because of the way in which the issue of mining is handled by the leaders is outside of the peoples’ interest.

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