Tag Archives: Landholders

Row Flares Again Over Namosi Exploration

TNCL chairman Josefa Tauleka with children of Namosi village who were also part of the meeting yesterday. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

TNCL chairman Josefa Tauleka with children of Namosi village who were also part of the meeting yesterday. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

Maika Bolatiki and Lusiana Tuimaisala | Fiji Sun | February 26, 2017

The Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee (TNLC) will seek a meeting with  Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to discuss its concerns about the mineral explorations in Namosi.

At a TNLC meeting at Namosi village yesterday, members unanimously opposed exploration currently carried out by the Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) on environmental grounds.

TNLC chairperson Josefa Tauleka said that they were against exploration since it started in Namosi because they felt it would destroy their natural resources.

He said that no one seemed to listen to them and that was why they wanted to meet with Mr Bainimarama.

“We have a caring Prime Minister and we know he will listen to us,” he said.

“We already had made a presentation to the Prime Minister in 2012  but we really want to meet him again to brief him of the current developments.”

Mr Tauleka said they fully supported the Prime Minister’s green economy policy because it was in line with what TNLC believed.

“We also support him as chair of COP 23.”

NJV is currently exploring minerals in the province and has been granted a licence, SPL 1420 till 2020.

Mr Tauleka claimed mining would be next.

He alleged that according to the company’s Mining Plan there would be two mining pits but from information they had gathered there would be a third pit at Waivaka West. The company, he alleged, had opted for open pit and not underground mining.

The NJV has strongly refuted claims by the TNLC of its plan to have a third pit.

“NJV has no plans for a third pit as suggested by the TNLC, “ Greg Morris the Newcrest Mining Limited Country Manager Fiji said.

He said they had not applied for a mining licence.

The company, he said, had been given an exploration licence only and that was what they were doing.

NJV made a presentation to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mineral Resources chaired by Joeli Cawaki on the progress of their exploration.

Meanwhile, Mr Morris said the company provided a briefing to the Parliamentary Natural Resources Standing Committee on the progress of the NJV Waisoi project Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).

The ESIA is yet to be completed but it will discuss the potential impact and the proposed management measures in accordance with the term of Reference issued by the Department of Environment.

He said the NJV had been continuously meeting with the landowners over the past to update them on the  project and listen to their issues and concern.

See also: Tikina Namosi Landowners respond to NJV mining claims

Leave a comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Exploration, Fiji

Landholders say more LNG protests are imminent

Delays in royalty payments are frustrating landowners

Delays in royalty payments are frustrating landowners

Jeffrey Elapa | Post Courier | February 23,2017

MORE landowner protests are imminent as the Government continues to neglect them and delay payments that they rightfully deserve.

In addition to the protest plan by the PNG LNG plant site landowners, the upstream landowners also plan to protest and shut down the PNG LNG project after continuous delay by the Government in releasing their funds.

The concern was brought to the Minister for Petroleum and Energy Nixon Duban yesterday but he did not respond.

Hides PDL 7 landowners Umbrella Association chairman Chris Payabe said it is really frustrating for the Government to continue to delay all payments, including the recent payment of K35 million for the Hides landowners.

He said the K35 million is a commitment made to the landowners in order for them to open the gate to the PNG LNG condensation plant and other vital projects by the disgruntled landowners. He said through a MOA signed by the State, MRDC and Kumul Petroleum Holdings with the landowners in Hides, the payment was to be made within two weeks, but since August 18 last year the landowners are still waiting as the Government continues to play its delay tactics.

He said the court order O/S 196 is related to the payment of IDG for 2013 and not related to any other funding and the Government should not mislead the people.

“The plaintiffs to the matter Robert Mai and the respondent the Hela Provincial Government through its legal officer had cleared the payment of the K35m as it does not relate to the IDGs, or any other issues such as the Agore lands issues and payments, therefore we want our payment to be made to us instead of giving excuses.

“We also want ExxonMobil to talk to the State as they are the ones party to the project as their failure would have serious repercussions on the projects as we are ready to stop the project. ExxonMobil should not take a back stage but should negotiate with the state to have our payments settled,” he said.

Mr Payabe said they also want the K6.8 million payments from the Department of Petroleum and Energy while other important commitments are still pending.

“The state should not give us any more excuses but tell us if they are going to pay us or not. If they have money or not so we know the reason for the delay as there is no court matter stopping the payment of the K35 million and the K6.8 million payments,” he said.

1 Comment

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Exxon Mobil to continue operations at LNG site

Aerial view of the LNG processing site

Jacklyn Sirias | The National aka The Loggers Times | February 21, 2017

EXXONMOBIL PNG will continue operations despite the protest by landowners against the Government over royalty payments, according to a spokesperson.

Landowners from the four impacted villages – Papa, Lealea, Boera and Porebada – gathered in front of the LNG site yesterday, blocked the gate and main road.

They want the Government to pay the royalties due to them.

Spokesperson Chief Nao Nao claimed that they had not been paid royalties since May 2014.

A spokesperson for ExxonMobil said their primary concern was the safety of their staff and the community.

“We are monitoring the peaceful protest outside the LNG plant in Central and continue to engage with the relevant landowner groups,” the spokesperson said.

“We are continuing to do everything we can to facilitate communication between all parties.

“We respect the right of individuals to peacefully protest. But we also encourage continued dialogue between landowners and the government to resolve their outstanding issues.

“We hope the landowners and the Government can resolve this situation promptly and in an amicable manner.”

Meanwhile, Central police were monitoring the protest yesterday.

Central Police Commander Chief Inspector Laimo Asi said he had already warned the chiefs and leaders of the villages to control their people.

He said they would be held responsible if anything went wrong.

“If anything goes wrong, the leaders will be held responsible. I’ve already warned them,” Asi said.

1 Comment

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Police say LNG protests illegal

PNG police have no respect for people's right to protest

Exxon-Mobil says it respects people’s right to protest – unlike PNG police who love to label any attempt at free speech as “illegal”

Freddy Mou | Loop PNG | February 20, 2017

Provincial Police Commander for Central Province, Superintendent, Laimo Asi has condemned the protest by landowners of portion 152 at the PNG LNG plant site today.

Asi said there is no approval given by authorities to stage the protest.

The PPC, who was at the site this morning told Loop PNG that he had warned landowners not to cause any damage to the plant site but to allow the operation to continue as normal.

He had advised them that the protest was illegal and while the landowners have been reluctant to back off, they promised to do it peacefully.

Asi said his men are on the ground to protect facilities and to ensure the protest does not turn rowdy.

As of the writing of this report, landowners have not taken any action except the sit in protest with placards under the heat of the sun.

The villagers are from Boera, Porebada, Rearea and Papa.

They claimed that the government hasn’t paid their royalties since the first shipment of the LNG in May 2014.

They are demanding the government to look into this and provide answers to their demands.

1 Comment

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Tikina Namosi Landowners respond to NJV mining claims

A drill pad site. Photo: Namosi Joint Venture

Namosi Joint Venture exploration drill site

Tikina Namosi Landowners respond to the Chairman of the Fijian Parliamentary Select Committee on Natural Resource in relation to Namosi Joint Venture Director Mr Greg Morris’ claims on his presentation to the Standing Committee…

“Warm Greetings Mr Cawaki,

“At the outset, I wish to congratulate you on the tremendous work you are doing in assisting the Fijian People in these times.

“Vinaka saka vakalevu.

“I read with dismay the presentation given by Mr. Greg Morris yesterday as part of their presentation to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Natural Resources

“I write as Chairman of the Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee TNLC, wishing to highlight some of the issues needed also to be raised by Namosi Joint Venture NJV on but failed to do so. These are most important to us Fijian as we live in a very small island state called Fiji and wishing to commence with a massive open cut copper and Gold Mine very similar to OK Tedi in PNG. NJV has been smiling when it is explaining the economic benefit to the Country and not the Shareholders who will get more and the employing of 2000 people as part of its workforce, although I wish to highlight some of the issues from the Landowners perspectives and these are:

  1. Has NJV highlighted the environmental damages it has caused to our land the last 10 years of exploration in Namosi?
  2. Has NJV mentioned the vast area covered which if you look at the mine plan, anyone would be quick to establish that to have the first pit with a size of 180 rugby field and with 2 pits you will know that there will be migration of people;
  3. Has NJV mentioned of a third pit which is not mentioned in the Mine plan although we understand its where its gold deposit are concentrated,
  4. Has NJV mentioned that to show the third Pit, Government will automatically disallow the Mine License,
  5. Has NJV mentioned of a cost benefit analysis after mining has finished.
  6. Who pays for these costs?
  7. Is it sustainable to have a massive copper/gold mine in the smallest province in Fiji;
  8. In terms of migration, where will our people settled,,,,,,, Serua?
  9. What happen to the Heritage Act, the Museum Act, the Archeological and Paleontologist Act.- How can they identify with us?
  10. What’s the use of the Baseline Studies and where is the report now?
  11. What happens to provinces such as Serua, Naitasiri, Rewa and Tailevu if spillages does occur?
  12. Who will pay for the social implication after mining?
  13. What is the use of taking the lead in Climate Change stance as part of the COP 21, 22 and our taking Chairmanship in COP 23?
  14. When our ecosystem is damaged, who will feed us when all living organism are dead through chemical use,
  15. Has NJV mentioned that the Suva/Nausori populations are drinking from the Waimanu River that flows from Wainivalelevu from Namosi?
  16. How does the LOU benefit from this mine?
  17. How sustainable is the waste storage DAM or Tailing Dam. Who pays for the spillage downstream if an Earthquake or any disastrous weather phenomenon does occur?

“Sir the list goes on and on. The money is good for the Country on a short term benefit but the damage caused cannot be put the pristine environment back again. It will whisper to your ear and say…..moce qi sa la.

“As members of the Fiji First Party and government, we understand that we are following government road map to sustainable development and to have a project that is unsustainable will be against your road map.

“We need fresh air, fresh water, fresh crops and vegetation for our survival, so to mine Namosi is taking away what the almighty has given us to enjoy.

“I hope the TNLC’s humble plea will be taken on board and that serious and honest consideration in that Namosi should not be mined as it will cause more to the people and government after mining has taken place.

“What we do in our lives will determined our destiny to the next life whether it be good or bad, we will answer to the almighty or how justifiable we are.

“Vinaka saka vakalevu.

Josefa Rauto Waqavatu Tauleka

Chairman TNLC

1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Fiji, Financial returns, Human rights, Mine construction

Protesters angry about unpaid royalties picket LNG plant near Port Moresby

lng-protest-2

‘Pay our royalties!!!’ is the call from protesters picketing PNG LNG.

Eric Tlozek | ABC News | 20 February 2017

Villagers in Papua New Guinea are blockading the country’s biggest resources project because the government has not paid them long overdue royalties.

Hundreds of people who live near the PNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant outside Port Moresby have gathered around the main gate in an attempt to block access.

The PNG Government is yet to pay royalties from the $25 billion project, because of disputes about the identification of landowners from the gas fields and pipeline in the country’s highlands.

An attempt at alternative dispute resolution has stalled and the matter remains in court.

But a spokesman for the Port Moresby landowners, Chief Nao Nao, said that should not stop the government paying people from other areas.

PHOTO: Police were nearby but the action is being described as a "peaceful protest". (ABC News: Eric Tlozek)

PHOTO: Police were nearby but the action is being described as a “peaceful protest”. (ABC News: Eric Tlozek)

“The people are very frustrated today,” he said.

“They are unhappy with when they haven’t been receiving this royalty until today. So they are all here to show their pleas to the government: can you make an effort to pay us?”

Another spokesman for the protesters, Solo Damena, said the Port Moresby group believed they were being taken for granted because they had not threatened violence, unlike other aggrieved landowners.

The fact is, they’re really, really upset,” he said.

“We’re not going to move until we get paid.”

This is the second major protest affecting the LNG project.

Landowners from the gas fields in Hela Province blockaded the entrance to the conditioning plant at Hides in August 2016 over the non-payment of royalties and fears they would miss out on promised equity in the project.

PHOTO: The protesters want no ifs, ands or buts about their royalties. (ABC News: Eric Tlozek)

PHOTO: The protesters want no ifs, ands or buts about their royalties. (ABC News: Eric Tlozek)

Papua New Guinea’s LNG’s operator ExxonMobil issued a statement saying the protest had not affected operations at the plant.

“ExxonMobil PNG is monitoring the peaceful protest outside the LNG plant in Central Province and continuing to engage with the relevant landowner groups,” the statement said.

“Our primary concern is the safety of our staff and the community. While this is a matter between the landowners and the government, we are continuing to do everything we can to facilitate communication between all parties.

“We respect the right of individuals to peacefully protest, but we also encourage continued dialogue between landowners and the government to resolve their outstanding issues.

“We hope that landowners and the government can resolve this situation promptly and in an amicable manner.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

LNG army call-out unsuccessful

Photo: AFP

Post Courier | February 16,2017

THE CALL-OUT operation in Hela Province has not been successful because high powered firearms have not yet been surrendered since the operation started two months ago.

This has forced the Hela provincial government to look at ways to introduce a provincial executive council decision to have a buy-back gun program.

Hela Governor Francis Potape said that more than a month has passed but the gun surrender was not happening in Hela, adding that only homemade guns had been surrendered.

Commenting on the issue, Police Commissioner Gari Baki said while he is unable to give the number of weapons returned, police would be moving in to confiscate weapons from known owners, when the moratorium expired.

“We have intelligence reports on all people in possession of firearms that have not surrendered.”

“We will go directly to them, if they still have weapons within the vicinity of their areas, we will arrest them, whether they are leaders or ordinary people, that’s the arrangement we are taking now.”

Commissioner Baki added that he did not think that the rate of factory made weapons returned was a success and that was why the police needed to take a different approach.

The moratorium should be an ideal environment to have all factory made weapons returned”, he said.

Meanwhile, PNG Defence Force Lieutenant-Colonel John Manuai confirmed that they were not able to do their work effectively when funding was not coming on time to assist them with logistics as required by soldiers and police in such operations, besides allowances.

“Allowance is just one aspect but the operational requirement is another thing that will make our work effective to achieve results,” he said.

Lt-Col Manuai who flew to Port Moresby yesterday said that he would follow up on the issues including timely release of funds and the requirements for the operations when he meets with the Chief Secretary.

He said it would be better if the funds are released for the police or the defence force to control.

Meanwhile attempts to contact the Prime Minister’s department, Mr Lupari and Director National Security Advisory Council coordinator Tony Kaip have been unsuccessful.

2 Comments

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea