Jerry Sefe | Post Courier | August 17, 2018
Major tertiary institutions in the country must be given the opportunity to involve facilitating trainings and safety regulation in the alluvial mining sector.
Member for Bulolo and Minister for Information and Communications Technology and Energy Sam Basil made the call to the Mineral Resources Authority on Tuesday during day one of its 4th Alluvial Mining and Tradeshow convention held in Lae.
“I want to encourage MRA involve our research and tertiary institutions including University of Papua New Guinea, PNG University of Technology and University of Natural Resource and Environment in our collaborative efforts in alluvial mining and the environmental impacts and safety,” said Mr Basil.
Basil said these institutions are academically and professionally equipped with knowledge, expertise and innovations to expand the sector and in this partnership the country can make a difference in challenging times when resource scarcity and sustainability is concerned.
He said the challenges of the alluvial mining observed from in Bulolo district is the safety aspects that needs to be more regulated when unsafe practices are becoming an increasing concern especially with miners using the underground mining techniques where they dig through tunnels.
“This has resulted in numerous deaths over the years. This is because of the alluvial resource knowledge has always been a barrier in advancing the alluvial mining operations” said Mr Basil.
Basil said it is a must that all concerned stakeholders join forces and embrace the new developments in this era of alluvial mining because the alluvial mining sector is owned by Papua New Guineans using downstream processing.
“This area must be carefully considered because it has a high potential to enhance multiple revenue streams through maximum participation of our rural populace.”
He said MRA as the concerned regulator must strive in its efforts in maintaining safety practices within the alluvial mining communities.
Basil added that environmental compliance is another issue that must be strictly regulated by the Conservation Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) however mentioned that CEPA are yet to be fully aware of what is happening within the alluvial mining sector.
“I am aware of the financial requirements of the sector in supporting alluvial miners therefore as local MP for Bulolo we will be fully supporting our local miners through our district development authority” he said.
Meanwhile, the minister also commended MRA’s initiative in the alluvial resource mapping programs currently taking place in Bulolo to build the resource inventory of the district.