PNG’s biggest ever tailings dam for Frieda river mine

A massive wave of toxic mud swept away the lives of locals living below the mining waste impoundment. Photo: Romerito Pontes

A massive wave of toxic mud swept away the lives of locals in Brazil when a BHP tailings dam failed recently. Photo: Romerito Pontes

Gedion Timothy | The National aka The Loggers Times | September 6, 2016
IT will take 12 months or longer to complete the technical assessments of two mining lease applications for Frieda in East Sepik and Wafi-Golpu in Morobe, according to the Mineral Resource Authority.
Managing director Philip Samar said both mines provided their own development plans.
PanAust Limited, the leader explorer and developer of the multi-billion kina Frieda copper-gold project in West Sepik lodged a special mining lease application for the project with the Mineral Resource Authority in June.
Likewise, the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture lodged an application on August 25 for a similar lease.
The MRA is two months into the technical assessment of the Frieda proposal for development.
The authority has circulated within government the relevant sections on business development, equity and training to the appropriate government agencies for their review. These will then be collated by the MRA for submission to Cabinet for approval.
“The Wafi assessment is through the preliminary stages and should pick up within the next three months,” Samar said.
“It is anticipated that all mining approvals should be ready in the next 12 months. The 12 months (could be more) is the time it will take MRA to complete its technical assessments of the two proposals for the development of both projects.”
He said the MRA would prepare a submission to Cabinet which the Mining Minister would table in Parliament.
“The SML is not granted until and unless the Environment Permit by Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) has been approved.
“Frieda will build Papua New Guinea’s largest land tailings storage facility (tailings dam) to ensure tailings are not disposed into the Sepik River over the life of the mine,” he said.
“This tailings facility will also double up as a hydro dam for purposes of generating electricity for operating the mine.
“The copper concentrate is shipped down the Sepik to Wewak for export to market.”
Wafi is a large long-life underground mine using a similar sized land tailings storage facility with an extensive pipeline infrastructure that delivers the copper concentrate from site to the port of Lae, Samar said.

1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

One response to “PNG’s biggest ever tailings dam for Frieda river mine

  1. Pingback: PNG’s biggest ever tailings dam for Frieda river mine — Papua New Guinea Mine Watch – zemengkecorner

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