Tag Archives: Ginson Saonu

Morobe To Focus On Developing Small Scale Mining

Jerry Sefe | Post Courier | September 24, 2019

Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu has set the course for the Morobe Provincial Government and its administration to focus on building small scale mining in Morobe Province.

Mr Saonu when attending a small scale mining consultation workshop in Lae said he would direct the Morobe provincial government (MPG) and the administration (MPA) to assist miners at the end of October 2019.

“We will also table crucial agenda on the developing small scale mining in Morobe Province through Provincial Executives Councils (PEC) together with the 2020 Provincial budget presentation in December as well,” said Saonu.

He said it has always been his dream and desire before he became a politician to create opportunities for small scale mining that are properly developed into a sustainable and robust business income stream for small scale miners.

He said successful millionaires in alluvial mining were on the rise because they were taught to use improved small-scale mechanized alluvial mining techniques, supported by respective government agents and the list goes on.

“I want to see the same for all small scale miners in Morobe become somebody living and enjoying luxury lives.

“I expect a provincial policy, strategies and better management approaches to support our small scale miners.

“As far as I am concerned MPG is committed to support small scale miners in any capacity to make them become successful and this must start this year” Saonu said.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Morobe’s Interest In Wafi-Golpu Legal, Says Judge

Frankiy Kapin | Post Courier | May 13, 2019

A ruling of the national court in Lae affirms that Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu (plaintiff /applicant) is a party of interest to the Wafi-Golpu project as host province.

Acting Judge John Numapo granted leave for judicial review to the signing of the Wafi-Golpu memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the State and the developer without the host province’s governor.

Justice Numapo ordered a directional hearing set for May 24, followed by a pre-hearing conference on June 6 to set a date for a full hearing of the substantive matter.

Justice Numapo ruled that Mr Saonu, in his capacity as mandated representative of Morobe Province and its people, is granted the review on two decisions pertaining to the letter constituting the legal clearance issued by state solicitor Daniel Rolpagarea (second defendant) on December 10, 2018, for the execution of the MoU between Mr Saonu, Wafi Mining Limited and Newcrest PNG 2 Limited.

The second decision for the review, as set in the originating summons, pertains to the MoU signed on December 11, 2018, between Mining Minister Johnson Tuke (first defendant) and developers Wafi Mining Limited (fourth defendant) and Newcrest PNG 2 Limited (fifth defendant).

The independent State of Papua New Guinea is the third defendant in the originating summons (OS-JR No 18 of 2019).

Justice Numapo ruled that Mr Saonu, as duly-elected Morobe Governor, has sufficient interest in the Wafi-Golpu project located in his province, therefore has standing (locus standi) seeking review through submission of the proceedings.

“One of his responsibilities is to make sure that the province generates and raises sufficient revenue from various sources within the province to maintain government services and one such revenue source is from the mining activities carried out in the province such has the Wafi-Golpu mine,” Justice Numapo said.

He said the plaintiff has taken into consideration the potential of the mine changing the economic outlook of the province and the country once operational and wants to make sure the province is well-positioned to benefit through revenue generation, employment opportunities and other spin off benefits.

Justice Numapo said the province is mindful of the environmental impact and other social issues that may arise as a direct result of the mining project and wants to ensure these concerns are properly addressed.

“I am satisfied, therefore, that a prima facie (accepted as correct until proven otherwise) case on sufficient interest has been made out in favor of granting leave for review.,” he said.

“I am satisfied that the plaintiff has sufficient interest in the matter and therefore, has the locus standi to bring this proceedings seeking leave for judicial review.”

Justice Numapo also ruled for the review after being satisfied that the Mining Minister Tuke and the state solicitor, as holders of public offices, acted in respective capacities constituting a decision or act in clearing the MoU signing through discharge of their statutory duties.

Justice Numapo granted the plaintiff, Mr Saonu, leave on May 7 to seek a judicial review of the agreement.

Leave a comment

Filed under Financial returns, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

Proposed Wafi-Golpu Mine On Hold

MOU was signed  “when the constitutional process had not been fully exhausted and, therefore, not only premature but also a clear breach of the Mining Act and the Constitution”.

Jimmy Kalebe | The National aka The Loggers Times | May 10, 2019

A COURT has put on hold operations of the K9 billion Wafi-Golpu copper-gold mining project in Morobe pending a review of a deal signed between the Government and developers.

Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu took the matter to court challenging the legality of the signing of the memorandum of understanding last December between the Government and Newcrest Mining Limited and Harmony Gold.

Saonu on behalf of the Morobe government claimed that the signing of the memorandum was done without proper consultation with, and input from, the provincial government and other stakeholders.

The memorandum was signed on Dec 11 following a clearance letter from State Solicitor Daniel Rolpagarea.

National Court acting judge Justice John Numapo ruled that the stay order also applied to any representation by Saonu or the parties who signed the memorandum regarding the project, including any meetings or consultations.

Saonu and the provincial government had asked the court to review the letter constituting the legal clearance issued by Rolpagarea for the execution of the memorandum.

Lawyer Paul Mawa, representing the State, asked the court to refuse the leave for review because the application was premature, misconceived and defective.

He argued that it was not supported by any clear and tangible evidence.

He said the legal clearance purportedly issued by Rolpagarea was not the decision of a public body or authority and therefore could not be reviewed.

But Justice Numapo stated that Rolpagarea was public office holder and what he did fell under a public body or authority which was subjected to review.

Justice Numapo dismissed the claims by Mawa and ruled that the issues raised by the plaintiffs were prima facie as they contained substantive issues of law.

He said the issuing of the letter to clear the memorandum for signing was done when the constitutional process had not been fully exhausted and, therefore, not only premature but also a clear breach of the Mining Act and the Constitution.

He said the second issue related to the terms of the memorandum was that the Morobe government wanted to benefit fully from the project.
Saonu and the Morobe government had wanted half of the 30 per cent State equity to be awarded to the Morobe government. Justice Numapo said this was not accommodated in the memorandum.

He also highlighted the fourth goal of the national goals and directive principles enshrined in the Constitution which called for collective benefits and equal distribution of natural resources and environment for all citizens.

The case will return for a directions hearing on May 24 at the National Court in Lae.

Leave a comment

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Landowners warned not to hurt mine workers

Erebiri Zurenuoc | The National aka The Loggers Times | January 14, 2019

MOROBE Governor Ginson Saonu has warned landowners who forced the suspension of the Wafi-Golpu mining project development not to damage properties or hurt the workers.

Workers were forced to leave last Friday by the group of people who wanted a list of demands they had sent to the chief executives of developers Harmony Gold Ltd and Newcrest Mining Ltd, and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, met.

Spokesman John Nema said the project would be closed for an indefinite period.

“We will not allow the developer to commence any operation on our customary land if any of our demands are overlooked,” he said.

Saonu said the provincial government had wanted to have a proper memorandum of understanding drawn up involving all parties.

“The mine should be open and the workers should feel free to move around,” he said.

“We agreed that the Government and the developers must revoke the MOU (they signed last month).”

Saonu said he recently visited the people of Hengambu, Babuaf and Yanta to gauge their views on the development.

“There was no intention to shut down the mine. It was about visiting the people, having discussions with them and letting them know that their government is with them,” he said.

Leave a comment

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

Wafi-Golpu LOs Call For MOU Review

Joan Bailey | Post Courier | January 10, 2019

Landowners of Wafi-Golpu Project have called on the National Government and the developers Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture to withdraw the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on December 11, last year.
The landowners demanded that the mine will not operate until a review is made to the signed MOU by concern parties.
This was expressed during a meeting between the landowners from Babuaf, Hengambu, and Yanta this week with Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu, Morobe provincial executive council members, and Morobe provincial administration.
The landowners thanked Mr Saonu for his stand on not signing the MoU and said the signing between the National Government and the developer is not in the interest of the landowners.
Spokesmen of Babuaf Development Corporative, Hengambu Landowners Association and Yanta Landowners Association told Mr Saonu and the delegates that they are not happy with the MoU signed in Port Moresby.
“We want the MoU signed recently by the State and developer Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture to be revoked and all parties concern must discuss for a new MOU at the negotiation table,’’ he said.
“Wafi-Golpu project will not start until proper processes of developing a mine is done according to PNG law and the mining act.’’
He said the mining will occur on their land and they must be included in all discussions whether it is with the national government, provincial government and even the developer regarding the progression of the mine.
Babuaf Development Corporative secretary Jack Raven said they stand ready to cooperate with the National Government and the developers in the mining project but they want proper processes followed.
Mr Raven said the developers and state must adhere to recommendations passed by the PEC and communicate with Morobe provincial government for a new MOU.
Yanta Landowners Association president Genesis Siliwana said that the landowners were not consulted and informed on the signing of the MOU and they did not participate in any way.
Mr Siliwana said processes of getting a mine operated are new to them and they need awareness on how they can participate and not to become spectators on their own land.
Mr Saonu told landowners that his stance for not signing the MOU is clear and is for the betterment of the province and the landowners.
He said he refused to sign because proper processes are not followed and he doesn’t want similar issues faced in other mining provinces to happen when Wafi-Golpu mine begin operations.
“I don’t have any differences against the state and the developers; instead I want a round table discussion to review the MOU and ensure it suits the interest of the landowners and the provincial government,” Mr Saonu said.
He said his visit to Babuaf, Yanta, and Hengambu is to tell the landowners that his government will support them in the negotiation process of Wafi-Golpu mine because the resources is on their land.
Mr Saonu said there is no need to rush and the developer together with the state must come to round table discussions with MPG and landowners for a new MOU.

Leave a comment

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

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).

1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Saonu Raises Concerns On Wafi-Golpu Mining Lease

Post Courier | November 9, 2018

Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu has raised concerns on the pending signing of a special mining lease between the developer of the Wafi-Golpu mine in Morobe Province and the government during the APEC summit next week.

He cited sources from social media who had released a report saying there was already a memorandum of agreement in place, established by the Mining Act.

The issue was interrupted by a court case and the signing of the special mining lease is expected to take place in 2019.

Mr Saonu directed his concerns to the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during question time in Parliament.

“Would you please confirm or deny, whether the government has agreed to sign a heads of agreement at the APEC Summit? Why was the Morobe provincial government and stakeholders not consulted?’’ Mr Saonu asked.

‘‘If the proposed signing of the heads of agreement is true, will you inform all the stakeholders landowners, state entities and the people of Morobe on what the agreement is all about?’’

He went on to ask the prime minister if it was still necessary to continue and complete the due process and what would be the legal consequences of abandoning the process.

In response Mr O’Neill said: “Mr Speaker our government has appointed a state negotiating team. Technical people from the Mining Department, Treasury, State Solicitors office and other government agencies are dealing directly with Wafi Golpu developers, particularly Newcrest and Harmony.

“They continue to discuss the way forward in continuing to develop this mine The negotiations are still in its early stages and there have been no briefings to cabinet or to the prime minister.

“I don’t see any mine development agreement being signed around APEC and certainly any agreement that needs to be signed will be in full consultation with Morobe provincial government and the people of Wau Bulolo particularly the landowners.”

Mr O’Neill said any understanding reached with the developer was about the program going forward.

‘‘There would not be any legally binding agreement but for the benefits of investors and potential financiers of the project, the government and its developers wants to give a clear position about its intentions to develop the mine,” he said.

Leave a comment

Filed under Financial returns, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea