Tag Archives: Landholders

Redevelopment plan for new Panguna mine project underway

Abandoned BCL bus

The National aka The Loggers Times | September 21, 2017

THE Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) is working to implement its staged redevelopment plan for a new Panguna mining project and further build community support.

“We are actively building positive relationships and will continue to increase our presence in Central Bougainville over the coming months as we expand our community engagement activities,” said Executive Manager Justin Rogers.

Rogers led a BCL community engagement team with Buka-based Bougainville Manager Ephraim Eminoni and two senior project officers where they spent four days at Arawa, Central Bougainville.

The team met local stakeholders earlier this month which coincided with the opening of two major events – the national boxing championships and the 2017 Bougainville Chocolate Festival.

In addressing the opening ceremony, Rogers said;

“It was a chance for us to acknowledge the important parts played by the cocoa industry and the sport of boxing in terms of fostering economic development in Bougainville and the development of people more broadly.”

“Boxing provides opportunities for Bougainvilleans to not only train and compete at the local level, but to shine on the world stage, with no better example than young champion Thaddeus Katoa.”

Rogers said Bougainville’s cocoa industry looked to have a very bright future and had earned international recognition for the quality of its produce.

BCL considered the development of primary industries and other areas of potential, such as tourism, as critical to Bougainville’s future economic success, of which employment was fundamental.

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Ongoing unrest affecting Porgera mine operations

The National aka The Loggers Times | September 20, 2017

PORGERA mine operations have been disrupted by the ongoing unrest and roadblocks, according to mine operator Barrick Niugini Limited.

Executive managing director Richmond Fenn said it had significantly impacted communities and businesses in the district.

“The unrest and violence we have seen in recent weeks, combined with frequent road closures on the Highlands Highway, not only impact operations at the Porgera mine, but also prevent the movement of people and goods to and from the region,” Fenn said.

“We hope that the situation improves soon, and we are working to assist the government and community leaders in bringing about lasting peace in the area.”

The two-week closure of the Wabag-Porgera road was lifted yesterday but a truck belonging to iPi Transport was torched soon after.

iPi Transport general manager Maso Mangape told The National that the roadblock was set up by relatives of a boy alleged to have been killed by the security forces last month.

“As two of our trucks were returning empty from Porgera, one was held up or hijacked at the Liop-Ipai section of the road just before Laiagam, and torched. Nothing is recoverable,” Mangape said.

“We are yet to establish the reasons and motives behind this action. It was at around the same location that a local was held up in his bus and shot dead about two weeks ago.”

Roadblocks at Surunki, Jiwaka and Chuave in the past two months “have cost this company so much”.
Mangape said it was frustrating for road-users such as iPi servicing the giant Porgera gold mine and helping contribute to the economy of this country, pay taxes and create employment.

“It is disappointing to see the Government not acting promptly to address these issues on the road,” he said.

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Canadian First Nations reject mining proposal after conducting their own intensive review

The proposed location at Pípsell is a sacred, culturally and historically important site to the First Nations. Photo: Wilderness Committee

Could this be a model for communities in Papua New Guinea? 

Rather than relying on mining company propaganda, lets do our own independent assessments of mining proposals…

KGHM Ajax Mining Inc. wants to build the Ajax open-pit copper and gold mine near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia in Canada

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The Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) representing the First Nation communities in the area conducted their own thorough 18-month review of the project and have said NO to the Ajax mine project.

The SSN reviewed 20,000 pages of information and over 300 reports. They held a public comment period and heard from over 80 experts at an oral panel hearing.

From what they learned the SSN determined that the project is too risky for the health and well-being of the Secwepemc and everyone else.

The federal government has committed to a fairer environmental assessment process and to respecting the rights and title of Indigenous Peoples. Will they honour that commitment and reject the Ajax mine for good?

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Madagascar Farmers Confront Canadian Junior Mining Company

The owner of this land asked DNI not to use his land but the company ignored his request and has continued to exploit his property.

Mine Watch Canada | 12 September, 2017

Farmers from Vohitsara in eastern Madagascar are demanding that DNI Metals Inc. cease operations on their land and compensate them for damage to their lands, crops, trees, and fish ponds that the company has acknowledged destroying without their consent and fair compensation.

Malagasy civil society organisations and media reports have confirmed that DNI Metals has undertaken drilling and trenching on the villagers’ land – in some cases without their agreement, while other farmers have signed agreements that provide vague and inadequate commitments from the company and do not meet basic standards of fairness.

The company had begun to undertake an inventory of damages jointly with Vohitsara villagers in July, but it was never completed. The company had previously done its own inventory, without the presence of the landowners or independent observers.

Villagers have also reported having been intimidated and harassed by DNI employees and by government officials when they sought to stop the unauthorized operations and to get fair compensation for damages they have suffered. On September 7, 2017, three villagers who had denounced DNI Metals’ activities and refused to sign agreements with the company were placed under house arrest by police (gendarmes), only to be released without charges on September 10.

“We are very concerned by these arrests, as well as reports that gendarmes are preventing local people from entering their own farms, where DNI Metals is actively working without permission,” said MiningWatch Canada spokesperson Jamie Kneen.

DNI Metals denies all of the alleged abuses and irregularities, and maintains that it has been exemplary in its corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.

“DNI Metals claims that it is adhering to the highest CSR standards. We are therefore calling on the company to keep its word and refrain from going onto people’s land without their permission, and to pay fair compensation for any damages,” said Kneen. “The company should not be operating without the appropriate agreements with landowners.”

Malagasy media have also reported that despite the company’s claims to have an exploitation permit, the Malagasy Ministry of Mines and Petroleum has confirmed that it only has an exploration permit. At the same time, Malagasy organisations, including Solidarité des Intervenants sur le Foncier/Sehatra lombonana ho an’ny Fananantany (SIF), report that the National Office of Environment has denied issuing an environmental authorisation for DNI Metals. Meanwhile, local people say they were not consulted regarding environmental and social impacts prior to the initiation of exploration activities.

While there are no legal requirements for Canadian corporations’ international operations under Canadian law, other than the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, Canada is party to a number of international instruments and conventions in respect of business and human rights, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the standard of Free, Prior, Informed Consent.

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Papuan landowners in PNG to receive first LNG project royalties of K15m

Boera village in Central province landowners from the PNG LNG Project to receive royalties. Video: EMTV News

Meriba Tulo in Boera village | Asia Pacific Report | September 13, 2017

After more than three years and 200 shipments, landowners of Boera village in Papua New Guinea’s Central province have became the first beneficiaries from the PNG LNG Project to receive royalties.

This followed the release of royalty benefits for PNG LNG Petroleum Processing Facility Licence 2 (PPFL2) area landowners to the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) from the Department of Petroleum and Energy, Department of Finance, and the Central Bank.

Royalty payments for the four villages of Boera, Papa, Porebada and Rearea are in line with the Ministerial Determination number G692, 2015, which will see 83 clans receive a share of K15.6 million (NZ$6.7 million).

According to the Oil and Gas Act 1998, only 40 percent is to be paid as cash disbursement to landowners, with the remaining 60 percent to be set aside in two trusts – the Future Generation Trust Fund (FGTF) and Community Investment Trust Fund (CITF).

Royalty Payment Allocation:
1. Cash Payment to Landowners: K6,250,701.00
2. Community Investment Trust Fund: K4,688,026.00
3. Future Generation Trust Fund: K4,688,026.00

From the K6,250,701.00 cash allocation, this is further broken up according to the following:
1. Rearea Village: K1,746,946.00
2. Papa Village: K1,746,946.00
3. Boera Village: K1,352,027.00
4. Porebada Village: K1,154,755.00
5. Others: K250,028.00

Meriba Tulo is a senior reporter and presenter and currently anchors Resource PNG as well as EMTV’s daily National News. EMTV News items are republished by Asia Pacific Report with permission.

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K15M For LNG Plant Site Landowners Delayed Again

Melissa Yafoi | Post Courier | September 7, 2017

Highlands landowners from the LNG resource site yesterday stopped the K15 million payment for their coastal counterparts.

And their actions are likely to cause a shutdown at the plant site in Port Moresby as a result.

They insisted no payments be made until their own houses were put in order including the clan vetting process and other outstanding payment commitments made by the O’Neill government over the years were honoured.

They said failure to pay them will result in their shutting down of the project from the upstream end.

Their action is likely to result in the same threat from the coastal provinces who have resolved their outstanding clan ownership issues and only awaiting the first K15 million payment.

The Central landowners were about to be paid the amount having fulfilled all the legal requirements until yesterday when a demand for stop payment was made to the government through the Department of Petroleum and Energy.

The LNG site landowners insistence were despite court actions and disputes and the outstanding clan vetting process on ownership of the land which the project is located delaying their payments.

All monies owed to them are banked in trust accounts including those from Central Province.

In the ransom-like situation newly appointed Petroleum and Energy Minister Fabian Pok was caught off guard lamely saying he was new to the job and needed more time to understand the outstanding issues.

This is despite the Government’s previous hard line stance in paying landowners that resolve their landownership issues ahead of those pending in courts, the mediation process and other resolution arbitration.

Departmental Deputy Secretary Kepsey Puiye and Mineral Resources Development Company Limited external affairs general manager Imbi Tangune also succumbed to the demands saying it was sensitive and payment would not be made to the Central landowners.

Mr Puiye said the K15 million will be paid to the plant site land owners once the minister gives his approval.

He said of the amount 60 per cent will be kept by MRDC as per the Oil and Gas Act under section 176 and only 40 per cent will be paid for immediate investment.

“This is one of the very important projects that will have a profound effect on the economy of the country that is why it is important that the minister needs to appreciate all the issues for the upstream.

“Because the upstream holds the pipeline and that is important so the minister is also very cautious of the implications it will have on the upstream landowners because projects such as this is fundamentally important so he is saying let me look at the issues first.

“The plant site landowners need to appreciate that once the upstream is not alright then we are going to destroy the project,” he said.

Mr Tangune added: “I’m actually very sensitive to the minister’s need to ensure that he understands the issues surrounding payments for the plant site, licence areas and the pipelines so when he is actually comfortable he will give us the timeline for us to make that payment.

“We’ve done everything and the money is with us and we have done everything to pay the money to the land owners.

We ask our landowners to be patient because money is coming, it’s not an issue of its not, it’s an issue of when and I think we have done everything possible to give money to landowners whatever they are entitled to.”

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2017 Bougainville Chocolate Festival

Post Courier | September 6, 2017

The 2017 Bougainville Chocolate Festival has officially begun. The Autonomous Bougainville Government Minister for Primary Industries, Marine Resources and Forestry Nicholas Darku and Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner Bronte Moules launched the two-day festival with a colourful and delicious ceremony in Arawa.

The event brings together cocoa farmers, chocolatiers, industry representatives and government officials to network and discuss market access, share improved farming and processing techniques. As well as sample the delicious chocolate made from Bougainville’s finest beans.

Minister Darku speaking at the opening ceremony said the festival is a culmination of efforts by the Bougainville Government and its stakeholders to revitalise the cocoa industry in Bougainville.

“The cocoa industry has significant and immediate growth potential for Bougainville. That’s why it makes sense to focus on rebuilding the industry to improve livelihoods of our people and at the same time, grow the economy,” Minister Darku said.

Ms Moules in her remarks commended the Autonomous Bougainville Government for its proactive efforts to boost the cocoa sector in Bougainville.

“We know that money from cocoa brings better health and education and more opportunities for Bougainvilleans. That’s why the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership, together with New Zealand, is working in Bougainville to help develop the cocoa value chain.

“Our partnership is working to improve the business environment and market access, increase production and quality and ultimately, put more money in the pockets of Bougainvillean farmers,” Ms Moules said.

The chocolate competition will again be a highlight at the festival this year. Farmers from throughout Bougainville have sent samples of their cocoa to Paradise Foods’ Queen Emma Chocolate Factory to be made into chocolate. A panel of local and international judges will then sample the chocolate before making a final decision on medal winners.

The Festival is an initiative of the Autonomous Bougainville Government led by the Department of Primary Industries in partnership with the Governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand.

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