Post Courier | July 26, 2019
Leaders and landowners of the Porgera Gold mine in Enga want Prime Minister James Marape to visit the mining district to get views of mine communities before the mine’s lease agreement expires next month.
They are also calling on the various landowner factions operating outside Porgera to return and consult with the people on the ground so a collective and proper position paper, representing the interests of the people can be presented to the national government.
Landowners of the Porgera special mine lease (SML), lease for mining purpose (LMP) and mining easement communities aired their concerns in Porgera last week.
They included chairman of the Ipili Porgera Investment (IPI) group of companies, Jolson Kutato, President of the Porgera women in business (WiB), Elizabeth larume, president of the Porgera Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Nickson Pakea, former president of the Porgera LLG and former deputy governor of Enga, John Pawe, SML leaders William Gaupe, George Yope and Mathew Yapala, Paiam ward member Perale Kana, SML councilor Sukul Tupia, Porgera District Women’s Association leader Wanoli Waiyape and SML landowner Arnold Kulina.
The landowners have called on the Prime Minister not to entertain any landowner faction groups operating from Port Moresby but to go to Porgera and directly consult with mine landowners.
“We are here and our position will be addressed here in Pogera and the government will receive our position paper in Porgera.
“Ongoing in fighting by landowner faction groups is causing confusion amongst the genuine landowners so the Pogera Landowners Association (PLOA) and Porgera Jus-tice Foundation need to sit down , iron out differences and properly discuss issues relating to the mine review with the Pogera people,” Mr Pawe said.
Mr Kutato who led the 1999 mine negotiations then as chairman of the landowner association said there are a lot of side issues the landowners need to fix before the mine lease expires.
He said landowners must take the review process very seriously if they are concerned about the future of their children because this will be the only time to renegotiate long-term benefits but nothing will be achieved if there is still division.
“The Prime Minister must listen to the concerns of the people and come to Porgera because the landowners and leaders are here. We will formulate our position paper as united landowners to go into agreement with the government and developer and this has to be in Porgera,” Mr Kutato said.