Benefits from large-scale mining not shared with landowners

“it is clear to us that the landowning communities are not benefiting” – National Research Institute

The Hidden Valley mine has caused environmental problems and failed to make a profit

Hidden Valley is one of the mines studied by NRI and found not to be delivering benefits to landowners

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

2 responses to “Benefits from large-scale mining not shared with landowners

  1. Fred Hela

    It’s the pretend leaders who are ruining this country. What is needed is visionary leaders who focus on real development rather than self indulgence. The present crop will leaders will not give hope and a future to our resource rich country. We need a change!

  2. Kenneth Unamba

    The realities of landowners and the near mine communities missing out as Mr Webster pointed out is at a point where people think that it is quite normal for this to happen. It is quite sad and gut wrenching when you see mining towns like Wau/Bulolo, Bwagaoia (Misima) in dilapidated ruins of which Porgera and Tabubil would follow suit. Despite billions of dollars worth of gold, timber, and agricultural produce being shipped out since 1920’s by the side door from the Wau/Bulolo area, the condition of infrastructure and services are so pathetic and degrading that other people who see this towns from the outside think that we are so stupid in terms of how to manage ourselves and our resources to our benefit. Who do we blame this on? I believe the culprit is the current PNG mining, environment, taxation, and labor laws which does not help protect and give back what is right for the impacted areas and communities.
    Everything goes to Waigani and gets stolen by a few greedy people from the top in politics down to the department levels who want to spend money in North Queensland where history is ever being repeated from colonial era to our present times by bent citizens of this pity-full country.

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