PM to announce future of Wafi-Golpu gold mine
Prime Minister James Marape will make an announcement on the future of the Wafi-Golpu project in Morobe Province before September 16, as the country prepares to mark 44 years of independence.
The Morobe provincial government, the mining ministry and the Prime Minister have agreed to guarantee the progress of the Wafi-Golpu project despite current hold ups.
Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu gave the undertaking that the project will go ahead but formalities including consultations with relevant parties including the province, district and local level government need to be addressed.
Governor Saonu said Prime Minister Marape has directed the provincial government to sit down with relevant State teams including the Mineral Resources Authority, Attorney General Office, and the Mining Office to reach a solution to see Wafi-Golpu get off the ground as soon as possible.
Mr Saonu said legal counsels representing concerned parties to the project have met to discuss ways to progress the mine.
He said this also follows the province’s stance outlined in the position paper for Morobe Province.
Mr Saonu said the court case and other discussions should not raise questions on whether mining will happen or not.
“That will not be the case.
“Our battle is for the people and how the people will benefit from the mine. It will still happen,” Governor Saonu said. Member for Bulolo and Treasurer Sam Basil said the Wafi-Golpu and Frieda projects can increase the country’s GDP by 3-5 per cent during the constructions phase. Mr Basil said people of Morobe will benefit from the Wafi-Golpu project if the Memorandum of Agreement is guided to take into consideration the construction phase of the mine.
He said that includes the development using local Morobe companies and sourcing of goods and services from within the city of Lae to bring money back to the province.