Tag Archives: DSTP

Wafi-Golpu selling idea marine waste dumping safe

Erebiri Zurenuoc | The National aka The Loggers Times | April 26, 2019

THE awareness on deep-sea tailing placement (DSTP) by the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture team provided vital information for the people, says Labuta Local Level Government president Tups Waho.

Waho of Nawaeb district in Morobe said the awareness had been allowing people share their views on the project.

“The future of Labuta lies in the five-year development plan which must be captured in the proposed mining development plan,” Waho said.

“Two of the important impact projects covered in the five-year development plan are fisheries and eco-tourism because ward one to ward 13 are in the coast.

“There are a lot of fishing communities, and many locals use fishing as the means to generate income, and as a protein for their food.”

Labuta said people were still concerned about chemicals from the DSTP which might harm them.

DSTP engagement leader Andy Maie told Talec villagers tailings would only be harmful once it came into contact with air. “Our two-year study show that the deep-sea in the Huon Gulf peninsula is suitable for the proposed tailings displacement at depths of more than 200 metres,” he said.

“There is no risk of current upwelling and no fish life living beyond that 200-metre depth,” he said.

“The discharge will flow into the Markham canyon, to join the sediment discharge from the Markham and Busu rivers that flow towards the 9km deep New Britain trench.

“There are plans for monitoring stations to assess the sediment flows from rivers, monitoring of the ocean currents, fish sampling, water quality, and other studies.”


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Labuta People Reject Wafi-Golpu Dumping Proposal

Benny Geteng | Post Courier | January 10, 2019

PEOPLE in the Labuta local level government area of Morobe Province are adamant that the proposed deep sea tailing placement (DSTP) into the Huon Gulf must be stopped.

Tikeleng village youth leader Jerry Sakiang said he is scared their sea will be destroyed along with marine vegetation.

Mr Sakiang said he is concerned that if the tailings destroy the marine environment, the people’s daily livelihood will be destroyed forever.

Tony Keakop, traditional landowner sharing a boundary with Ahi – Yanga located along Kamgalo river, echoed similar sentiments and said a total ban must take place.

“Mi tok no long dispela deep sea tailing long solwara (I say no to the deep sea tailing placement into the sea),” he said.

“Ol Ahi hangere man laikim moni long kaikai olsem na ol wok long pasim maus na sapotim stap ya (The Ahi are hungry for money that is why they shut their mouth and continue to support).”

On behalf of his people at Apo village, representing Poaluc Kehuc clan, he said: “I say a total no to the proposed tailings pipeline into the Huon Gulf Sea.”

Mr Keakop said Wafi- Golpu Joint Venture should bring their waste and dump it somewhere else, but not the sea.

“Karim waste bilong ol go dumpim long sampela hap na I no solwara bilong mipela. (Take their waste and dump it somewhere else and not into our waters),” he said.

“We’ve never been informed or there’s never been any awareness carried out!”

Several villagers at Aluki and Wagang are also very vocal on the same matter and it is understood a consensus forum will be held this month to debate the proposed idea.


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Governor’s Stance Against Marine Waste Dumping Applauded

Benny Geteng | Post Courier | December 21, 2018

The Morobe Coastal Solwara Association has applauded the stand by Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu against dumping of mine tailings into the sea.

President Kamong Mazzewin said although Wafi-Golpu Mine Project brings exciting opportunities in benefits for the province and country, it must not be forgotten that someone has to pay the price.

“Governor Saonu’s statement made a huge difference for our children’s future. Five maritime districts of Morobe will pay the price of waste tailings effect,” he said.

Mr Mazeewin said he can’t remember whether there is a record of consultation by the developer MMJV among all the five districts in the province from Morobe south coast, Huon Salamaua, Huon Labu Wampar, Lae coastal villages, Nawaeb Labuta, Yabim, Finschhafen Urban and Tewae- Siassi.

“There has been one consultation meeting by developer held at Sipaia Wagang village and this does not represent all coastal villages in the five districts,” he said.

Mr Mazzewin, an engineer by profession, said the proposed method to be used in pumping the solid tailings into the sea may not the best option. He said while the solid tailings can easily settle, the finer tailing particles that might not be easily pumped down into the deep could easily float or resurface onto the upper body of water that are easily affected by the disturbing shifting currents around Huon Gulf.

“There has to be a way to dump waste tailing, maybe by building land tailing dam as suggested by Governor Saonu,” he said.

“I call on the Governor to make a time to immediately hold a forum to have an open and honest talk to the five coastal districts of Morobe as soon as possible.”

He said arrangements will be coordinated by the Morobe Coastal Solwara Association executives and the office of the Governor of Morobe.

“A further call is extended to all Morobe coastal elites around Morobe, PNG and overseas to garner support to the cause,” he said.
Governor Saonu has raised concerns about the environmental effects of the proposed dumping of Wafi-Golpu mine tailings into the Huon Gulf.

He supported coastal villagers of Morobe from the northern part who will be directly affected by the massive outflow of tailings from Wafi- Golpu Mining Project and said that WGJV must consider other alternatives from the current proposed idea.

WGJV maintains that the risks of tailings affecting the food chain for fish are extremely low and the conclusion is that Deep Sea Tailings Placement (DSTP) is not predicted to affect the coastal environment, productive surface waters, community health and fisheries.

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Wafi-Golpu not good for province: Governor

The National aka The Loggers times | December 17, 2018

Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu, says alternatives to mining such as tourism and agriculture will be developed in the province.

He told The National that Morobe had a thriving agricultural sector and an undeveloped tourism industry which had huge potential.

Explaining why he had refused to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture last week, the governor declared that Morobe did not recognise it as it was not for the good of the province.

“When I stood for election in 2017, I spoke about ‘kisim bek Morobe (taking back Morobe)’,” he said.

“Kisim bek Morobe means that anything that is wrong in Morobe, or anything that the people need, we will work hard for them.

“I want to make sure that people of Morobe gain enough.

“My position is for the people of Morobe, not for Ginson Saonu, not for any political party’s interest, not for anybody who wants to bribe me.”

Meanwhile, Saonu has expressed concern about the proposed dumping of Wafi-Golpu mine tailings into the Huon Gulf.

He supported coastal villagers of Morobe, from Morobe Post along the border with Northern to the Siassi Islands bordering West New Britain, who stand to be affected by a massive outflow of tailings.

The villagers depend on the sea for the livelihood, he said.

The Huon Gulf is also one of the few habitats in the world for leatherback turtle nesting.

Saonu is well aware of the fragile environment of the gulf and urged the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture to look at other alternatives,

“We have to listen to the people,” Saonu told The National.

“People are not like before, when they had no knowledge, no idea, no education to read what’s happening in other parts of the world where there is environmental damage and so forth. Everybody is knowledgeable about what’s happening in other mines around the world, and even in Papua New Guinea like Ok Tedi, Bougainville and others.

“They are mindful of the environment.”

Saonu said the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea had made itself clear that it wanted a tailings dam and not a pipe leading into the sea.

“If the people and the church want a tailings dam, it has to be a tailings dam – not put a pipe through to the sea and damage the environment,” he said.

The mine is to dump its tailings into the waters of the Huon Gulf, according to an updated feasibility study report released earlier this year.

The report said three types of tailings management options had been considered during various studies undertaken since 2012: Various terrestrial tailings storage facilities, dry-stacking and deep-sea tailings placement (DSTP).

However, it ruled out various tailings storage facilities and dry-stacking, and opted for deep-sea tailings placement.

“Deep-sea tailings placement studies have been conducted as part of the 2017-18 work programme,” the report said.

“Oceanographic and environmental studies in the Western Huon Gulf to date have confirmed that area to be a highly-suitable environment for deep-sea tailings placement.

“It hosts a deep canyon leading to a very deep oceanic basin with no evidence of upwelling of deeper waters to the surface.

“The tailings are expected to mix and co-deposit with a significant, naturally occurring loading of riverine sediments from the Markham, Busu and other rivers that also are conveyed via the Markham Canyon to the deep sea.”

PNG has three existing active deep-sea tailings placement operations (Lihir, Simberi, and Ramu Nickel), one permitted (Woodlark) and one closed (Misima).

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Wafi-Golpu plan to dump mine waste in sea queried

The National aka The Loggers Times | September 13, 2018

Salamaua LLG president Philemon Tomala has expressed concern about the plan to dump Wafi-Golpu mine tailings into Huon Gulf.

He said that both Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture and Morobe government should spell out the effects of the tailings on the gulf, where people fish for their livelihood. It is also one of few places in the world where the endangered giant leatherback turtle nests.

“The mining company and Morobe government say it is safe to get this waste into the sea,” Tomala said.

“From experiences we have seen, like Panguna mine and others, the people out there still have questions in their minds as to how safe the waste is, going onto the sea.

“This is because our people’s livelihood is in the sea.

“They go fishing to sustain their day-to-day living, but with this thing coming, we have a lot of questions Whether it is safe for marine life or not.”

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PNG PM tries to fool the world with false lament on declining oceans

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill Photo: Joosep Martinson

Mr O’Neill conveniently forgot to tell the United Nations his govt is the first to allow experimental seabed mining and one of the very few to allow ocean dumping of toxic mine waste (DSTP), instead he chose to pretend he cares about our declining oceans…

PNG leader laments declining health of oceans

Radio New Zealand | 25 September 2017

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister has conveyed deep concern over the declining health of the world’s oceans.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Peter O’Neill said global fish stocks were being decimated and ecosystems destroyed by human activity.

He said while Pacific countries were feeling the greatest impacts, the problem was of global relevance that required greater global action.

“We share growing concerns over the declining health of our oceans and seas that sustain so many nations. Uncontrolled and poorly regulated human activities, including illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, pollutants and plastics and of course marine debris are killing our waterways.”

Mr O’Neill said many PNG communities were being forces to abandon their traditional homes because the decline of ocean health means loss of food and livelihoods for them.

According to him, PNG is doing what it can to address the problem – an integrated national oceans policy has sought a coherent cross-agency approach to ocean governance.

But he stressed the need for more action on reducing harmful human activities in relation to oceans.

Mr O’Neill welcomed the first-ever Oceans Conference in support of Sustainable Development Goal 14 on conservation and sustainable use of oceans.

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Ban on mine waste stirs debate

Noel Pascoe | PNG Loop


Debate is erupting over plans by a constitutional body to push to a ban on deep sea and river tailings in resource projects in Papua New Guinea.

The ban idea came from the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission amid a report of 19 recommendations that have been drafted.

They will be presented to the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Ano Pala, to be examined and presented to the National Executive Council for approval.

This follows a public seminar at the Hideaway Hotel in Port Moresby to make final recommendations for the Minister.

There are a total of eight mines in PNG. three of these are purely gold mines, three gold and silver mines, one copper and gold and one nickel and copper.

These facts make our country one of the world’s resource rich nations, and pumps about three quarters of revenue into the country’s economy.

However, the issue on management of mine tailings disposal is said to have been overlooked over the years by government, developers and stakeholders, causing a national threat on the health of future generations, particularly on populations in the special mining lease areas.

Today’s seminar discussed the Constitutional Law and Reform Commission’s 19 recommendations to review the Environment and Mining laws relating to management and disposal of mine tailings.

Amongst solutions was the ban of deep sea and river mine waste disposals by mines in PNG.

These recommendations have been drafted by the working committee made up of members from the Mineral Resource Authority, Departments of Mineral Policy and Geohazards management, environment and conservation, health, mines and petroleum, environment, research and development and the University of Papua New Guinea.

They strongly recommended that the national government seriously look at the health and social impacts of mine waste disposal, rather than concentrating more on revenue generation.

However, other experts present at the seminar this morning said otherwise.

The working committee found many flaws in the environment and mining laws relating to mine waste disposal.

One of them was the absence of a health impact assessment.

Similar to the environment impact assessment, the committee suggested that an independent body be established to oversee health and social impact assessments in all mine sites.

On Facebook, prominent lawyer Tiffany Nonggorr-Twivey said:

“There are many things alive below 150m. even tuna goes down to 400m ! They found live things such as shrimp at the 7000 metre mark at the bottom of the Marianas Trench.

“The complaint about off shore mining is that at 1000 metres there are many living things that will be destroyed. It is the biggest con of all time that MCC got out to the community that nothing lives below 150m.

“The National Court rejected  that evidence and accepted that there is prolific life deep in the sea and below 150m. The National Court also found it would be an environmental catastrophe – we actually won the case in nuisance at the National Court – but the judge said he could not give the relief we sought – an injunction – as the govt had given MCC a permit to dump with no damage – so until the actual damage was done, we couldn’t stop the dumping.

“We appealed this and Judge Davani agreed that we had proved nuisance and found that a permanent injunction on dumping should be given. Her decision was amazing – and if you are interested in environmental protection for PNG – you should read it – makes me cry every time I do – She was in the minority however – as the other two supreme court judges Hartshorn and Sawong JJ said a case in nuisance couldn’t be brought until there HAD been damage. so said as no damage yet, no case – and there was a permit to dump with no damage – so MCC could dump – but if damage was done in the future – the landowners could come back and sue in nuisance. Sigh – but with what funding ??? Litigation costs money.’’

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