Post Courier | March 19, 2019
The Sinivit Mine Landowners Association is calling on the East New Britain provincial government to fund an independent audit into the operations of the abandoned Sinivit gold mine.
The developer, New Guinea Gold Limited abandoned the project in September 2014 after blaming the government and the Mineral Resources Authority for not quickly renewing their mining licence.
It is understood MRA had notified the company to return and rectify safety and environmental issues related to the Sinivit project but this has not eventuated.
Chairman Douglas Augustine said a submission was given to the provincial government in August last year requesting an independent audit to be conducted on the mine.
He said before any mining project can be re-opened, an audit must be done to establish how much was generated by the mining operations in the past and who benefited from those funds.
Mr Augustine said currently there is an environmental issue where some of the 29 abandoned vats used to extract gold and other minerals at the mine site were further damaged by heavy rain and flooding, with potential chemical contamination into nearby rivers of Warangoi and Nengmutka.
“Right now most of those vats near the cliff have collapsed and I appeal to communities near the two rivers not to use it too much as it is not safe,” he said.
Therefore he urged the provincial government and its administration to fast track an investigation or audit, so that any such issues are addressed before the mining project can be re-opened.
The landowners say they are not against the planned re-opening of the mine, but want an audit and report to be tabled first before the mine can be re-opened.
The office of the ENB Governor in response said the Minister for Mining will officially visit the mine soon to determine the next course of action.