Tag Archives: MRA

Unauthorised Miners To Be Fined

Post Courier | September 27, 2018

The Mineral Resources Authority has started ridding unauthorized semi mechanized or mechanized mining in the country.

Unauthorized alluvial mining is predominant in the Wau and Bulolo areas of Morobe Province.

Illegal alluvial miners face a fine of up to K10,000 or prison term of up to four years.

Recently MRA issued 13 stop work notices to individuals engaged in the illegal activities in Wau and Bulolo.

MRA stated such activities are not only illegal but pose substantial environmental and safety risks to miners themselves and the surrounding communities.

MRA’s acting managing director Nathan Mosusu appealed to the miners to adhere to the regulatory requirements, which is part of MRA’s regulatory compliance responsibilities.

Mr Mosusu said MRA has in the past demonstrated its openness and commitment to developing the alluvial sector in collaboration with miners, but it is the miners’ obligation to ensure they operate in compliance.

“I am asking miners to work with MRA for the betterment of the sector. Together we can achieve results,” Mr Mosusu said.

The Mining Act 1992, section 167 states – a person shall not carry on exploration or mining on any land unless he is duly authorised under this Act.

The MRA said the deaths of alluvial miners from cave-ins caused by unauthorised mining activities, and failures to adhere to safety requirements have become common.

It said tunneling and sluicing as part of these unauthorised operations has damaged local roads especially between Wau and Bulolo.

The Wau and Bulolo areas have a long history of alluvial mining that dates back to the 1920s.

At present, there are 81 active alluvial mining tenements and 50 inactive historic tenements granted under the previous mining legislation.

The 50 historic tenements are yet to be converted to alluvial leases recognised under the current Mining Act 1992. Once converted, the terms of these converted tenements would then ensure key safety and environmental aspects of mining operations are regulated appropriately.

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Work on K3.9mil Tolukuma road delayed

The National aka The Loggers Times | September 13, 2018

WORK on the Tolukuma-Bakoiudu Road has been delayed because funds allocated for the project cannot be accessed, according to the Mineral Resources Authority.

“The K3.9 million earmarked for the 11.2km road is under the care of the Department of Finance as a result of the implementation of the Public Money Management and Regularisation Act 2017,” a statement from the authority said.

It was responding to a query from the Tolukuma Landowner Association on why the road construction had not started despite the funds having been allocated.

The contract for the road project was awarded by the Central Supplies and Tenders Board last November. The MRA then paid the contractor a mobilisation fee of K170,000 in December to start work in February this year.

It also paid K200,000 to the Department of Works to supervise the project.

Before more payments were made, the legislation came into force in April.

Funds were frozen by the Department of Finance.

“The implementation of the Public Money Management and Regularisation Act has affected not only this project but many other projects, even those funded by donor agencies such as the World Bank,” the statement said.

The authority said it had on several occasions requested the Department of Finance to allow it to access the funds but to date had not received any response.

Takeso Uson, the executive officer of the Tolukuma Landowner Association, said the tendering process was completed and K-Mele Construction had moved its machines to the project site.

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Mining Minister Queried On Expat Leaking Confidential Info And Data

Post Courier | August 31, 2018

An expatriate who has been working with the Mineral Resources Authority is claimed to be leaking confidential data and information to mining companies.

This was made known by Usino-Bundi MP Jimmy Uguro, who asked his series of questions to Mining Minister Johnson Tuke.

In his questions he asked?:

 When will the permanent managing director be appointed?;

 When will the minister appoint the MRA board chairman?;

 Is the minister aware that there are some state highly confidential data and information being disclosed to mining companies by an expatriate working in a senior position in MRA?;

 Is the minister also aware that the same expatriate is stopping a lot of economic mining projects with minor technical issues and delaying the projects?; and

 Is minister also aware that the same person was given the work permit while still working in the country?

Mr Tuke said in the case of the MD and board chairman the MRA Act was only passed some months ago.

“This has not been gazetted yet, however, once it is passed, the board will give me three names and I will put through the process,” he said.

“For the third question I am not aware of information leaking out but I will look into it, for the fourth question, I am mindful and we have policies to go by if they are conducting themselves within the law, I have no issue with that but if he is conducting himself outside of the law, I will look into that.

“For the fifth question, yes it is true and I have given directives for officers to look into that.”

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Institutions Should Include Alluvial Mining Training, Says Basil

alluvial miners at work

Alluvial miners at work on Bougainville

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.

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Wafi Landowners Slam Kokopo Meeting

Mine consultation meeting in East New Britain has left Wafi-Gulpu landowners feeling betrayed

Post Courier | August 13, 2018

The landowner group from Wafi-Golpu mine in Morobe Province has described the consultative meeting in Kokopo as political maneuvering.

Paramount chief and landowner for Babuaf tribe Ezra Kwako said such political maneuvering is a disgrace to the Wafi landowners.

Mr Kwako accused the meeting of being hijacked over to Kokopo, East New Britain Province between the government and the miner, Wafi Golpu JV.

He questioned why the sharing consultative meeting was moved to Kokopo and not held in Lae.

He said legitimate landowners were left out when the meeting was moved to Kokopo.

He said only a few of their “paper landowners” attended the Kokopo and have ill-documented the meeting as the representative of the tribe when the case was still before the National Court pending decision, which is soon to be handed down.

“We were not properly consulted and the meeting venue over to Kokopo was a denial for the better process when we are yet to identify the real legitimate landowners of Wafi mine development area,” Kwako said.

“We do not want to keep on making mistakes like that of the Hidden Valley Mining, enough is enough.

“Political interference to propagate better process is not to be entertained. Bring your discussion points to the village and let’s share with the people of mine affected areas. The MOA signing is one key document that will benefit the landowners and thus be very mindful of this current trend after all clan vetting process if fully completed.

“This is Morobe resource and we must discuss this issue amicably with well-informed dialog including the legitimate landowners in Morobe and not elsewhere,” Kwako said.

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Alluvial Mining Meet Begins In Lae This Week

Post Courier | August 12, 2018

The Mineral Resources Authority will stage its 4th annual alluvial mining convention and trade show on August 14-15 at the Lae International Hotel.

Participants, presenters and attendees will include various stakeholders including gold exporters, miners and service providers.

Alluvial miners number more than 100,000 collectively contributing K300 million to the national economy in 2017.

This is an important sector of the economy that will rightly be given the attention it deserves by the government through MRA.

Under the theme ‘transitioning the alluvial mining sector for growth’, the two day program will cover programs and initiatives the MRA’s mines inspectorate has in terms of regulating safety in the alluvial mining sector.

Safety while conducting alluvial mining is an issue that the MRA has been addressing.

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ENB leaders want Sinivit gold mine reopened

location map

The National aka The Loggers Times | August 2, 2018

East New Britain leaders want the abandoned Sinivit gold mine reopened.

Governor Nakikus Konga and Sinivit LLG president Boniface Gerep said this during the launching of Sinivit road infrastructure under Sinivit mining project memorandum of agreement at Riet yesterday.

“As the former chairman of Uramot Company, the blame falls squarely on Mineral Resources Authority and the State,” he said. “Sinivit gold mine would have been a very successful mine, but unfortunately we did not get support from the mining department.”

Konga urged Mining Minister Johnson Tuke to ensure the mine reopened.

He said it was an economic opportunity for East New Britain now that the province had been given greater autonomy.

Gerep said resources owners had not benefited from the mine when the developer left abruptly.

Locals looted and vandalised everything at the mine, including explosives and chemicals.

Reports had surfaced of chemicals from abandoned vats flowing into the Warangoi River.

Tuke concurred with Konga and Gerep, saying he wanted to see the mine reopened.

He said he was ready to work with the authorities in East New Britain to ensure that the mine reopened and provided jobs for locals.

Developer New Guinea Gold Ltd abandoned the mine in Sept 2014 blaming the government and MRA for not quickly renewing their mining lease.

It was understood the matter was before the court.

MRA said that the environmental issues that had been raised were for the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority to deal with.

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