Where to dump Frieda’s raw waste just a ‘technical issue’: Minister

Frieda River mine set to start operations 
[the Post Courier loves a misleading headline!]

Post Courier | March 09, 2017

The giant Frieda River mine in West Sepik is now 60 percent ready of becoming a reality with the National Government waiting to issue the mining license for the project to start after few technical issues are sorted out, says Aitape Lumi MP and Minister for Treasury Patrick Pruaitch.

“Frieda River is 60 per cent reality now, we are ready to issue the license. We just need to work through with the technical people to on how they will dump the raw waste.”

“The company has put an application to convert mine waste into power generation system , but the State does not have the capacity so it is doing its best to hire people to give the best advice on how we can look at that and we can give the okay for that 40 per cent to be completed, for 100 per cent to give the mining license for project to start,” Mr Pruaitch said.

Mr Pruaitch said this at the opening of the first ever Frieda Mine Landowners Forum underway in Port Moresby’s Crowne Plaza Hotel that started yesterday and will end today.

Mr Pruaitch urged the people to work together and put together their benefits package for the National Government to consider during the project negotiation.

” Let us not send mix signals, it will give opportunity for company to go divide a few LLGs and MP’s to start the mine with the least cost possible so we can bring in impacted development for that region,

“I believe that is a big project that will transform Sandaun Province and Sepik region including Madang. This project will spread benefits across the region.”




“I want initial support from landowners because if we don’t have a project, we will not talk about benefits. We have to have a project, we have to get a leg in and another one in than we can be able to negotiate for the benefits. If we are not supporting the project than we can be standing here as leaders driving a lost cost, we must have a project, we must have shareholding understanding with impacted landowners, we must have understanding with the Telefomin district, we must have that understanding with the Telefomin LLG and sandaun Provincial Government.”

“I want Frieda mine which is going to be the first mining for the next government to use LNG precedent to allocate these benefits.”

Landowners to discuss benefits amongst others

FRIEDA Mine landowners have come together to discuss issues including benefits for negotiations with the National Government and developer PanAust when Frieda Mine project comes into development.

Member for Telefomin Solan Mirisim who initiated the first ever landowner forum to discuss issues surrounding the Frieda River Project, the Political Leaders from the West Sepik Province. MRA and stake holders emphasised on how best they can work hand in hand and support the Company, landowners and the State to kick start the Project once the SM application is granted.

“I stand up here representing the views, the cries and the excitement of over 50,000 people from Telefomin District, including people from ward 21, particularly the seven impact Villages within the vicinity of Special Mine Lease area.”

Mr Mirisim said Telefomin is the host District of the Frieda River Project and is one of the most remotest districts in the country that has no road link, only mode of transport is by Air and the four LLG are all accessible by third level airline and it is very expensive District to deliver goods and services to our people on time.

“Frieda River Project is the only Project in this country that has taken over 40 years of exploration after exploration, I must take this time to thank many exploration companies who have worked on the Frieda River Project for many years to this time, it is long time awaiting for our People in Frieda River and Telefomin District.”

“I would like to thank the Highlands Pacific and the PanAust for taking the project closer to fruition. One final step to finish and we will have a world class Mine that will be mined and developed in our District which will no doubt create prime opportunity to impact and transform the lives of our people through employment, training, economic empowerment, contracts and all kinds.

“We want to see a Pathway that will improve our way of life, a pathway that will change the areas of Infrastructure, a pathway that will see a society transformed with Improved Social and Health Indicators.



Filed under Environmental impact, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

7 responses to “Where to dump Frieda’s raw waste just a ‘technical issue’: Minister

  1. martyn

    It’s really frustrating when PNG state Ministers speak from a position of weakness trying to appease profit driven miners. One must come to the negotiating table from a position of strength in order to best represent the interest of the government and people of PNG.

  2. The Treasury Minister calls Frieda’s waste “just a technical issue,” ignoring the fact that the same situation occurred at Ok Tedi in the 1980s. Neither the Government nor the corporations were able to solve this mere technical issue. OTML, like today’s miners, was only concerned to take the metal and run. The result was a Fly River flood plain smothered with wastes and leaching acid, killing trees, sago, fish, and gardens.
    An overlooked fact: Not only does water run downhill but rivers flow downstream. Mine wastes that enter the Frieda River will flow down the Sepik to the ocean. When flooding occurs, harmful sediments will wash over the adjacent land. (I learned this in 1966 on my first night in a flooded Sepik village.) Were landowners from communities along the Sepik present at the meeting in the Port Moresby hotel?
    William Townsend, PhD, PE (PNG Government Technical Advisor on Ok Tedi construction)

  3. Moses Wininga

    Good to read and hear of this information but the landowners deserve the rights for their benefits.

    The Mining Acts need to be amended in-favour of Landowners so that our natural resources extracted will have impact on the lives of our people.

    The Politicians and the Administrators must play your part honestly by not accepting bribery by the developers and etc as this is also another reason why blessings are not flowing and times are delayed because these wealth are created by Yahweh God for people to benefit according to Divine Laws.

    God is watching us and we have to be honest and the flow from different stages will flow as he will be of our help.The problems happening within previous mining companies are basically developer oriented wealth creation and the middle people as most vulnerable ones are always the victims who are silent majority who are the landowners.

    The Sandaun Politicians must unite and speak one language at the floor of Parliament to sort our issues and always have time to support the landowners as we the landowners always elect you the politicians into power.

    The Politicians must assist to build roads and bridges as well as counterfund the work of MRA to Sandaun Province in doing more Mineral Mapping, Investigations to support the company and the landowners.

    Sandaun Politicians and the Government must support the work of Tenements within Development Co-ordination of MRA to support the Sandaun Provincial Minerals Development.

    • God or no God, mining companies are not your answer. There is nothing “Godly” about mining companies. Your fish, your water, your bread (food), your gardens, your land, your SURVIVAL are not part of the equation when it comes to mining companies.
      As stated by William H. Townsend, Ph.D., P.E. in August 2016,
      “If the same construction methods for mine access roads are used on the Frieda Mine that were used in Western Province, runoff will deposit materials that will damage the prime sago areas, which have taken generations to develop, and other food sources. Damage to the fragile forest during construction would take decades to remediate and restore sustainable living to the people of the Upper Sepik tributaries.

      While commentators are rightly concerned about the massive damage that occurs from riverine disposal of mine wastes during production or through the failure of poorly constructed tailings dams after mine closure, vigilance is also necessary from the beginning of construction. Environmental damage from construction shortcuts is especially likely during the pre-production and early production phases, before the project returns a profit, as Ok Tedi should have taught us all.”

      Interesting that the majority of landowners are kept in the dark, whilst these dirty deals are done. But obviously, a handful of landowners manipulated by the developer PanAust and the GoPNG government see their benefits.
      Capitalism at its best. An economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state or the landowners.
      Another greedy Australian company once again exploiting the people of Papua New Guinea.

  4. Moses Wininga

    I really support the idea that it is not the Frieda Mine or whatever Mine or Oil & Gas ALONE that will work to develop us all but with the good political will uptop,administration and a very good communication network with the people and the working partners that will bring promising prosperity to our land and people.

    Most Mining and Oil Companies landowners are worrying about social problems escalating,poverty riding into their homes and are helpless in their own land while the developers and the government of the day are fine.Visit places like Porgera and LNG sites in ELA plus many other areas in Papua New Guinea and you will confirm for yourselves of their current problems are very high compared to the little royalties per family in forthnights.

    Let’s not allow Frieda Mine to dive into the same lake as our Current Mining and Petroleum Acts are in Developer’s Favour and the Government.Let’s have time and listen to our people first so that true colours and music of wisdom will come to all parties of Developers,Administrators,Landowners and the Public.

    May our good Politicians Make Amendments to some of the Mining Act 1992 and Petroleum Act Laws to promote internal wealth growth and allow Papua New Guineans to form Mining Companies and they will only employ few technical experts as foreign workers.

  5. Pasira Stubbs

    It is so sad to see our land being destroyed in the name of money and wealth and yet people are still living in poverty. Land, river and sea are our life, it keeps us alive. The mining, either on land or under the seabed will not sustain PNG in the long run. Government of the day should rethink this through carefully before anymore damage is done. It will be a sad sight for the next generation because there will no clean and health river system, ocean will be polluted and the big holes left behind minus the forest.

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