Tag Archives: cyanide

Court reinstates case of Tolukuma mine spill

Christopher Yowat | The National aka The Loggers Times | February 13, 2018

THE Supreme Court has reinstated a case filed against the Tolukuma Gold Mine Limited over the alleged spillage of sodium cyanide into rivers in Golilala district, Central, 18 years ago.

The case was filed by James Gabe and others in 2006. it claims that more than K1 million in damages from the mining company was dismissed by the National Court in April, 2014. Gabe then applied to the Supreme Court to review the decision by Justice Sir Bernard Sakora.

The three-man Supreme Court bench of judges David Cannings, Ere Kariko and Jeffery Shepherd, granted the orders sought by Gabe – that the dismissal of the case by the National Court on April 9, 2014, be quashed and that the matter be reinstated.

Justice Sir Bernard had dismissed the proceedings after he had been satisfied that Gabe and the other plaintiffs were guilty of an inordinate delay in prosecuting the case and that there had been no proper explanation for it.

Gabe argued that the decision to dismiss the case was made on an “erroneous factual basis”.

Justice Cannings, on behalf of the Supreme Court panel, said:

“We consider, with respect, that if his honour had closely analysed the events that took place in the six-month period between the failed mediation (in April 2013) and the filing of the respondent’s motion for dismissal (in October 2013), his honour would have formed a different view as to the satisfactoriness of the applicant’s explanation for the delay.”

See also: Disgraced judge Bernard Sakora resigns in latest move to avoid justice


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Filed under Corruption, Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

State of Emergency declared on Sinivit

Will the police be pursuing New Guinea Gold and its executives for the damage and costs they have caused… Of course not!

Elizabeth Vuvu | The National aka The Loggers Times

A STATE of emergency has been declared on Sinivit gold mine, in East New Britain, to detoxicate the cyanide contamination and contain potential pollution within the vicinity.

The provincial executive council last Thursday approved a request from the provincial government to declare an SOE on the mine.

The PEC directed the provincial administration to release K300,000 to address immediate dangers of the environmental damage while awaiting funding help from the National Government.

The council endorsed a submission to MRA to put a stop to any negotiations with investors regarding the mine and for the provincial administration to immediately engage a civil works company to build barriers around the vats.

Governor Ereman ToBaining Jnr said the emergency authorisation was issued recently (Jan 21) by the director for environment from the Department of Environment and Conservation, Gunther Joku.

That follows concerns from provincial authorities and landowners on the threat of a potential cyanide spillage into the river systems due to the unattended vatting system since the Canadian developer, New Guinea Gold, ceased production last September.

Due to heavy rainfall and exposure of the vats as a result of theft of canvases used to protect vats, it was now leaking cyanide into the environment and may have a spill over into the Warangoi River systems.

ToBaining Jnr  said some vats were in grave danger of collapsing due to landslip about two metres away and the presence of heavy cyanide smell meant that the chemical level in the vats was rising due to heavy rainfall.

He said the developer has not complied with environmental requirements in building a barricade around the heaps to contain the spillage and treated instead of flowing direct into the river streams. Yesterday the technical team comprising officers from DEC, MRA and the provincial administration began collecting water samples at the Rapmaringa and Nengmutka rivers that would be sent to the laboratory in Lae to verify if it contained cyanide.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Fears of cyanide spill at Gold Ridge mine

With the humanitarian disaster unfolding in the Solomon Islands and the tragic loss of life, scientists are expressing fears over the cyanide retention dam at the Gold Ridge mine above Honiara.

The dam was reportedly already at full capacity before the recent devastating rains and flooding. The mine owners had been trying to schedule a “de-watering” exercise, which involves releasing filtered water into the Matepono River, but the recent rains prevented that.

Scientists say there is real danger that heavy rains combined with a full dam, could result in unfiltered water containing toxic cyanide spilling over the dam into the river system.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Solomon Islands