Papua New Guinea government agencies prove once again they lack the resources and skills and professionalism needed to manage large-scale mining. As a result foreign mining companies are able to operate with complete impunity and local communities suffer the consequences…
Call for action on mine issue
The National aka The Loggers Times
DEPUTY Prime Minister Leo Dion has admitted the failure of provincial authorities and relevant national line agencies to prevent environmental damage at the abandoned Sinivit gold mine in East New Britain.
Dion, the East New Britain regional MP, said rather than just talking about the issue, all responsible authorities must take action to protect people’s lives while at the same time ensure that the responsible company was held accountable for its actions.
He said it was believed the ENB provincial government has requested K5 million from the National Government to address the situation.
He believed that if there was an existing technical committee, with an agreement between the developer – Niugini Gold and the provincial government, as well as routine inspections done, then the company would have been prevented from going overboard or not complying with the agreement.
And because of this failure, the province was now asking the national government for another K5 million to correct something that was supposed to have been amended in the past.
He further stated that he was convinced that if the state agencies and line departments carried out their mandated responsibilities, the affected people would not be suffering like this. However, he said that rather than playing blame games, he would be taking up the issue with the Mining Minister to ensure that people’s lives were protected, and urged government officers to learn from mistakes and become more proactive by planning ahead for disasters.