Mori: No Decision Has Yet To Be Made On The Frieda River Project

By: PNG Business News February 03, 2021

A decision on the environmental permit for the Frieda River copper and gold project in West Sepik is yet to be made.

Environment, Conservation and Climate Change Minister Wera Mori said that the granting of the permit is not yet finished.

“Frieda River is an ongoing project – meaning that PanAust, which has got the licence, is still conducting exploration,” he said.

He added that before submitting their plan and their proposal to the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority and Mineral Resources Authority, they still need to work on the ore body and the style and type of mineralisation.

“In the mining development plan they will submit, they will note the nature and style, the volume, and the mining rate (how much, in tonnes they are going to mine a year), together with the commercial mineral. From there, discussions will follow,” he said. “At the moment, I have not issued any permit to anyone yet.”

Mori added that they also need to consider inputs from the West and East Sepik governments.

“The people through their provincial governments will go through the process of discussions,” he said. “Meaningful discussions must take place between the people of East and West Sepik, whether they want the mine or not. That is something for them to decide with their provincial leaders. And then, we will talk to them. We can’t do anything now. All those processes are to be completed before an environment permit is granted. There are no submissions yet, not that I know of.”

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