Dispute over proposed Frieda river mine location

Freida River_Map_Panaust

PanAust says the mine is on the border between East and West Sepik

Frieda located in West Sepik: Tekwie
Gedion Timothy | The National aka The Loggers Times | July 27, 2016
FORMER West Sepik governor John Tekwie says the Frieda River copper-gold project is situated in the province and not on the border with East Sepik.
He said the fundamental error that the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA), the lead explorer PanAust and its partner Highlands Pacific, had been misleading all this time was the actual location of the project.
A spokesperson from the MRA said a special mining lease (SML) was yet to be issued but confirmed that the area that would be given the SML would be exploration licence 58 (EL 58), which was in West Sepik.
The spokesperson indicated that areas surrounding EL 58 were mining easement licences for infrastructure and other mining purposes.
Tekwie said the project was geographically and legally located in the Telefomin local level government area with landownership commonly shared between the Telefol and Mianmin tribes.
“Telefomin is home of the five min tribes comprising Telefolmin, Mianmin, Oksapmin, Atbalmin and Faiwolmin. The project is about 80 kilometres Southwest from the common Sandaun-East Sepik border and is located on Nena mountain deep in Sandaun province,” Tekwie said.
“It is not on the border, nor is it in neighbouring East Sepik province. MRA officers and certain consultants have over the years misled the public staging the project as “on the border” or in East Sepik.”
He called on MRA and the two project partners to address this concern.
“All Sandaun (West Sepik) and PNG will benefit comes development, but as Melanesians we must always acknowledge who the customary owners are,” Tekwie said.
PanAust holds an 80 per cent interest in the Frieda River Copper-Gold Project with Joint venture partner, Highlands Pacific holds the remaining 20 per cent.
PanAust managing director Dr Fred Hess said work had progressed throughout the June quarter on the construction of an exploration access track.
“Close and ongoing engagement with the Government of Papua New Guinea, provincial administrations in Sandaun and East Sepik provinces, as well as with host communities continues,” he said.

4 Comments

Filed under Financial returns, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

4 responses to “Dispute over proposed Frieda river mine location

  1. Sponge Bob

    Was the comment about 80 km a typo? Looks to me like the project is right on the border.

  2. Bill Mati William

    I totally agree with John Tekwei,s comment. I have worked there under Xstrata Copper – FRL and I saw it. Its just the border cutting the two provinces and the physical location of mine proposed sites are located at Mt Trukai, Nena and HorseIval , all in the Mianimin tribe of Telefomin District… further away from the Sepik plain and Frieda River.
    In terms of Infrastructure & employment, both sepik provinces should benefit but Telefomin & Sandaun province should own the mine.

  3. My question is about Alexander Mining when will it start.

  4. David Akis

    Identification of real landowners is still a challenge. in anyway possible this is clearly identified, conduct social mapping and establishment of the land owner group of association is vital for good relationship between the landowners, government and the developers. Remember the Lord God created the land and placed the indigenous people in each place to care for the environment. In this case the Telefomin and Mianmin people need to be consulted well through the Land owner Association that is needed to be formed urgently,

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