Bougainville Community Leaders and Landowners condemn illegal Chinese Gold Dredging

Minister

Reports from the area say that a fair-size gold dredge has been installed on the tailings to suck up tailings material from which gold is extracted for export by the company.

Bougainville News | 24 November 2016

Landowners at the Panguna Mine Tailings areas in Central Bougainville have called on the Autonomous Bougainville Government to immediately close down the “illegal” Gold Dredging operation by a Chinese company operating on their land without proper authorization by the appropriate authorities of the government.

The call by the landowners is drawing support from the Southern and Northern Regions of Bougainville.

Community leaders , Clarence Pokona, and Chris Siriosi from Central and Northern Regions of Bougainville respectively have expressed concern that requests by landowners and the wider Bougainville community to ABG leadership for an explanation on how the investment was approved without proper technical evaluation from relevant agencies who had the expertise, continues to be ignored by the ABG leadership.

Additionally, the company has established an office on site and a compound for it’s foreign workers. These premises and gold dredging facility are said to be heavily guarded by security.

Additionally, the company has established an office on site and a compound for it’s foreign workers. These premises and gold dredging facility are said to be heavily guarded by security.

“This company is operating without proper authorization in contravention of the appropriate investment and mining laws, said Mr Siriosi.

“It appears as if they were deliberately allowed into the tailings area of the Panguna Mine under the guise of producing bricks to undertake an alluvial gold mining operation… This is totally unacceptable

Mr Pokona said that according to Landowners from the area, Joe Sipu and Dominic Sipu, the company involved in the dredging operation was 95 percent foreign-owned with 5 percent share-holding apportioned to certain landowners and ABG.

“The company Jaba Joint Development Limited was allowed into the area by the ABG Commerce Minister, Fidelis Semoso [Semoso has a history of corrupt behaviour] under the pretext of making bricks. However the bricks they produced were of inferior quality and were found to be unsuitable for use in buildings and structures because the sand from the tailings was contaminated with material waste from the mine upstream”, Mr Pokona said.

“We were unaware that they had been processing gold until recently when the dredge was brought in.”

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4 Comments

Filed under Corruption, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

4 responses to “Bougainville Community Leaders and Landowners condemn illegal Chinese Gold Dredging

  1. Aihi Areni

    This is appalling; the state needs to get involved to investigate and stop this action if true.

  2. Pingback: Who is illegally dredging for gold on Bougainville? | PNGexposed Blog

  3. This is sick news and appalling. We were all reminded of the disgusting behaviour of Fidelis Semoso ages ago.
    Then, “Bougainville President John Momis appointed Fidelis Semoso as his new Minister for Economic Development (see story below). In 2012 Semoso was found guilty of using his office for the benefit of his associates, guilty of misappropriating public funds; guilty of sexual assault, torture and humiliating his house girl and guilty of failing to disclose his interest in a contract”.
    As stated: ““The purpose of a Tribunal inquiry is to determine whether a leader is guilty of misconduct in office. If the leader is guilty, it is recommended that the person be dismissed from office or position or that some other penalty provided for by the law be imposed. Three Members of Parliament were referred to the Public Prosecutor in 2006 and 2011. Following the referral, in 2012 a Leadership Tribunal was appointed to inquire into the allegations of misconduct in office against Mark Maipakai Member for Kikori, Fidelis Semoso, Bougainville Regional Member and Arthur Somare, Member for Angoram.

    “…The same Tribunal on Maipakai’s matter also dealt with Mr Semoso’s matter which commenced on 21 February 2012 when it accepted the Public Prosecutor’s Reference containing 14 allegations of misconduct in office.

    “After sitting for a total of 29 days (including 14 days in Buka), the Tribunal found Mr Semoso guilty of using his office for the benefit of his associates, guilty of misappropriating public funds; guilty of sexual assault, torture and humiliating his house girl and guilty of failing to disclose his interest in a contract. Mr Semoso was guilty of a total of 11 out of 16 allegations on16 July 2012. The Tribunal recommended that Mr Fidelis Semoso be dismissed from the office of the Regional Member of Parliament for Bougainville on 24 July 2012. In its recommendation for dismissal, the Tribunal stressed that “a penalty of dismissal must be imposed to act as deterrence and to protect the people of ARB from conduct of leaders such as Mr Semoso”. The Tribunal also completed all the formalities by forwarding its recommendations to the Governor-General.”
    Wake up Bougainville. You will never achieve Independence or Justice when guilty jerks like Fidelis Semoso are off the hook and now he is the Minister of Economic Development.
    It is unbelievable.
    Why does this trash exist?

  4. Pingback: Who is illegally dredging for gold on Bougainville? | Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

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