Stop dumping waste into Porgera rivers

ariel view of the Porgera mine

Nalix Hewali Iripu (Lagaip-Porgera) | The National aka The Loggers Times

THE comments made by Dr Illa Temu regarding the dumping of Porgera mine waste into the Porgera and Strictland riverine systems should not go unchallenged as it contained misleading statements regarding the environment contamination downstream of the Porgera Riverine systems (Sept 12).

I have to elucidate the comments for the better understanding of truth by the people of lower Porgera and the people of the contaminated Strictland riverine area.

It is really true that the operation of Porgera mine is the main cause of all the health and environment issues and effects currently encountered and felt by the people living downstream of the Porgera river which changes name to Strictland River which eventually joins the flying Fly River in the western province.

The Porgera mine practices riverine tailings disposal, by which processed chemicals containing ore are dumped into Porgera’s rivers.

The primary concern with riverine tailings disposal as practiced by the Barrick Porgera mine is not the quantities of sediment but the toxicity of the tailings which contains significant quantities of cyanide, mercury and other heavy elements.

The mercury is fixed in a compound state by which it is thought it will not ultimately enter the food chain along the Porgera and Strictland riverine systems but no conclusive research has been performed due to not having any independent researchers engaged by the government.

The Barrick country executive director should now know and understand that his comments of dumping tailings in the Porgera riverine systems safely for the last 25 years, is not true and that it amounts to total corporate denial of the sufferings of the indigenous people who are greatly affected.


1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

One response to “Stop dumping waste into Porgera rivers

  1. Henene

    I propose and independent consultant group is engaged to carry out private investigations and testing.

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