“it is clear to us that the landowning communities are not benefiting” – National Research Institute
Concerns over benefit sharing
Eric Balaria | The National aka The Loggers Times
PAPUA New Guinea has problems with how it delivers benefits to landowning communities in mine impacted areas, outgoing National Research Institute director Dr Thomas Webster says.
He said it was clear that PNG had serious problems with the structure of arrangements and it was time for the government to re-examine and come up with better policies.
Webster said this during the launching of NRI’s latest report on the review and assessment of benefit sharing arrangements for large-scale mining activities in Wau-Bulolo.
“NRI is now focusing on the analysis of benefits to the landowning communities and the examination of the mechanisms of which these benefits are being spring and how these are being are being used for the welfare and benefit of these communities,” he said.
“In both these studies, Porgera Gold mine in 2012 and the Hidden Valley mine in 2014, it is clear to us that the landowning communities are not benefiting and will be worse off when the mine closes down if we do not do anything now.
“Audited payments made by mining company Barrick to the government and various stakeholders has been tracked as we have used evidence from their accounting systems.
“The question about where these payments go, how they are spent, once they remain and once they leave the mine remain unresolved, as we could not establish that through our study.
“To the communities who are supposedly the absolute beneficiaries of PNG’s mining and mineral wealth the legal and payments systems is fake and one sided.
“There remains a critical lack of transparency at both the national and self- government levels,” he said.
Webster said PNG had the expertise and resources both domestic and international to design and develop strong policies to ensure that all revenues from mining activities were adequately accounted for.