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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Filed under Corruption, Environmental impact, Financial returns, Human rights, Pacific region