Proper waste disposal needed for Frieda mine

“An investor will want to take all that money back at all costs even including human costs and a polluted Sepik River.”

frieda river

The National aka The Loggers Times 

A PROPER waste disposal mechanism should be in place at the Frieda copper and gold project in West Sepik before mining starts, a lawyer says.

Alois Jerewai said with developments taking place at the site, there was no clear explanation as to whether there would be proper waste management policies in place to assure the safety of people in the area.

“The entire Sepik River with its tributaries and the river basin itself form the food bowl for some 300,000 people directly, and the slightest mine waste leakage into the river system will destroy that,” Jerewai said.

“The Government and the two (associated) provincial governments are compelled to protect their people by ensuring that no environment permit be granted to mine developers except on absolutely contamination-free Sepik River.

“Under no circumstance will any proposal involving any form of a tailings dam be tolerated.

“All mine waste are to be disposed of elsewhere, promptly by safe and leakage free system, possible a deep-sea disposal of the kind deployed at Basamuk for the Ramu nickel mine in Madang.

“The Sepik people want the Government, Mineral Resources Authority, the two Sepik provincial governments, investors and operators of the mine to take note.”

Jerewai said recent news of a takeover offer of Frieda by a Chinese interest raised questions regarding people’s livelihood.

“Our fear is that the buying and selling of this tenement preceded any actual mining operation,” Jerewai said.

“At some point this buying and selling of a non-operating mine will peak.

“An investor will want to take all that money back at all costs even including human costs and a polluted Sepik River.”

The Frieda copper-gold mine project is owned by Australian miner PanAust and Highlands Pacific Ltd.

2 Comments

Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

2 responses to “Proper waste disposal needed for Frieda mine

  1. Pingback: PanAust gives the usual empty promises over the environment | Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

  2. Pingback: World’s largest sovereign wealth fund dumps PanAust shares | Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

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