PanAust gives the usual empty promises over the environment

We have heard these empty promises so many times before – from the likes of BHP (Ok Tedi), Rio Tinto (Panguna) and Barrick Gold (Porgera) – but still the government and bureaucrats are happy to believe the miners as if the previous disasters never happened…


Frieda river mine camp

Focus on environment issues

The National aka The Loggers Times

PANAUST will bring the best environmental management standards, including management of tailings and mine waste to the Frieda River Project, a company spokesperson says.
The A$25 million (K53m) project is located on the border of East and West Sepik.
The Australian miner gave the assurance following concern by prominent lawyer Alois Jerewai over the implementation of a proper waste disposal mechanism at the Frieda copper-gold mine in West Sepik.
Jerewai had said with current developments taking place at the project site, there was no clear explanation as to whether there were proper waste management policies in place to assure the people in the area of their livelihood.
A company official said PanAust has had considerable experience with tailings management at its operations in Laos (Asia) where the challenges were very similar to Frieda River in relation to topography, high rainfall (tropical conditions) and the presence of downstream communities.
“The Government of Papua New Guinea has in place an approvals regime that requires these issues to be properly managed,” the official said.
“PanAust is undertaking extensive community consultation prior to any development and this will include communities along the Sepik River.
“PanAust is proposing that waste and tailings will be placed within an engineered integrated storage facility. The company is not contemplating either riverine or deep-sea disposal of mine waste rock and tailings.
“PanAust was committed to developing a world class operation of which the people of PNG would be proud, and would provide economic benefits while minimising environmental impacts.”
The Frieda River project is in the feasibility stage which is expected to be completed by the end of this year


1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

One response to “PanAust gives the usual empty promises over the environment

  1. Kenneth Unamba

    Lets get the mine going under the following conditions:
    1. All mining related sedimentation must be contained and not released into the natural environment. These includes sediments derived from all earthworks including roads and other site wide clearings etc. ie. berms and sediment traps and catchments must be put in place to control these.
    2. The taillings facility must be closed. No Taillings or any overflows whatsoever must be released into the environment unless the water in the tailings is treated and certified before release into the natural river system.
    3. Runoffs from the Solid waste dumps and the open pit must be contained and de-acidified first before run to a sediment trap
    3. All chemical/oil spills must be contained immediately and disposed off in specified areas.
    4. Vigorous Government monitoring (quarterly) by the DEC to ensure compliance.
    5. Employment of up to 80% locals/provincial, 15% Nationals and 5% foreigners to give maximum job opportunities to the local communities. If locals unqualified, training and time limit is given, outsiders to train and get replaced during the time limit. The Department of labor and Employment must crack the whip on this.
    6. Provinces involve to get 50% of all the taxes in what ever form. The sub districts involved in the project must get 50% from the Provincial governments share.
    7. The provincial government gets 50% of the National governments 30% share in a project.

    Believe me, a lot more people will be happy to see a mining project run in their back yard if most of these suggestions are followed.

    K Unamba.

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