MAML Conducts first Warden Hearing for Maus Markham Mining Lease

By: PNG Business News June 01, 2021

Thursday 27th May 2021, marked a significant phase for the operations of Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited with the hosting of the Warden Hearing of the Mining Lease for the Maus Markham Project (ML 167).

Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited (MAML) was established on the 14th May 2020, and came into full operation with the appointment of Chief Executive Officer Ms Brigitta Pondros on the 18th of January 2021.

The event was attended by Morobe Governor Hon Ginson Saonu, Mineral Resources Authority Deputy Chief Warden Vele Gavu, Provincial Minister for Mining Hon Kekeng Amos, several Morobe Provincial Executive Council Members, MAML staff with the four (4) clans of Labu Butu, Labu Mitic & Labu Talec, Morobe Provincial Programme Adviser Robin Kiki along with several key Provincial Government & Administration Heads.

ML 167 – Maus Markham Project

Mining lease number 167 (ML 167) is an application lodged with the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) by the company MAML. After this warden hearing, the Deputy Chief Warden submits report to the Mining Advisory Committee (MAC) for grant of Licenses; so MAML can proceed to mine minerals on Maus Markham Lease 167. MAML will lodge a variation of ML Application to mine sand and gravel in the near future.

The Maus Markham lease ML 167 situates approximately 2.1 kilometers southeast of Lae City near the Labu Butu village. The proposed project encloses an area of about 789.96 hectares and covers the confluence of Markham river and the sea and progresses upwards in a linear northwest direction covering approximately 6.2 kilometers in distance. The people of Labu Butu live in three different villages as Labu 1, Labu 2 and Labu 3 and all of them a clustered towards the sea side. Point number 2 in the map shows the central location of the village area, the villages stretch along the coastline.

The Labu Butu village is within the Ward 8 area and it’s under the Wampar LLG in Huon Gulf District, Morobe Province. MAML visited the village twice for community awareness organized by the local councilor Hon Kipu Anonga. The councilor did prior awareness on his own advising the community that the company MAML will visit the village conducting awareness about the project. The turn out by the community in numbers were good and that alone indicated that the entire village included 4 clan groups are ready to support the mining work of MAML and to any development works for this project.

On the other hand, MAML is using the bottom up approach in its mining work. It means MAML is more a community based project at this stage as it utilizes the concept of Family Basic Income Support Program (FBISP) to drive the Triple One (1) Policy Visions.

Morobe Governor Hon Ginson Saonu said, Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited is a first of its kind operation in the country where directly a Provincial Government is engaging local alluvial mining lease holders in the province. The end result is an increase of gold production, revenue and employment opportunities for the local alluvial miners, landowners, families in Morobe Province.

“The opportunity for the locals to be directly engaged with their Provincial Government to increase opportunities to harness their own resources is now at hand. Therefore, Maus Markham ML 167 is the perfect situation for the locals of Labu within close proximity to work with MPG & MAML.”

Governor Saonu added that MAML plays the vital role in creating Employment Opportunities for young Morobeans and Papua New Guineans alike. For the first time as well, our local Alluvial Miners will be able to benefit properly from the sale of their gold. Previously alluvial miners’ resort to artisanal mining practices but now MAML is bringing new knowledge, new ideas and modern mechanized machineries in the alluvial mining industry.

MAML CEO Ms Brigitta Pondros added that the Warden Hearing is the initial stage of the process for a Mining Lease to be granted and therefore MAML has met the technical requirement by which MRA has commenced the Warden Hearing with right at the doorstep of the impacted local community of Labu.

MAML Senior Mining Engineer Mathew Dalga explained to the locals that after the process of Warden Hearing MAML will conduct further meetings with locals to explain the technical processes of operations prior to begin the exploration process.

“It is a lengthy process and once MRA granted License is issued for Maus Markham, MAML will return to the Labu Community to continue more dialogue, to gauge more views and capture ways to properly work with communities in a win-win situation.

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