Porgera Landowners Petition Govt On Mine Continuation
The Porgera Landowners Association has called on the national government to make a decision on the mine licence renewal without delay, while supporting the existing operator of the Porgera gold mine.
The landowners made the call through a petition received by Minister for Mining Johnson Tuke in Porgera on January 10.
The landowners are opting for nothing more than a fair and equitable deal in the renegotiation outcomes with maximum and improved benefits. The association’s petition presented by chairman of the landowners negotiating committee Maso Mangape to Mr Tuke was witnessed by its members and clan agents.
Mr Tuke received the petition in the presence of strong government delegation to the district, which included Minister for Police Bryan Kramer, managing director of the Mineral Resources Authority Jerry Garry and Member for Lagaip-Porgera Tomait Kapili.
The association presented a general summary of its position paper on the mine lease extension to the government delegation highlighting amongst others, its conditions for a lease grant and its proposed mine benefits sharing arrangement.
Mr Mangape said the association is concerned the governments delay in making a decision is causing anxiety and undesired outcomes in the district.
The association noted that most of the unresolved legacy issues were the responsibility of the national and Engan provincial governments.
The association, in its petition, is also requesting for the Prime Minister James Marape to acknowledge that the association, on its own terms, is inviting all six members of Parliament from the mine’s host province, Enga, and also those from Hela province, including the Governor and electorates which host the mine supporting infrastructure like the Hides Gas Plant to join in the mine development contract and MOA negotiations. In response, Mr Tuke said to deliver the petition to the Prime Minister.
He described the presentation as very exclusive as it also highlighted a lot of the government’s concerns. He highlighted that there are two government processes relating to the licence renewal – one is regulatory work facilitated by the Mineral Resources Authority and the other is the processes the State negotiating team has to follow.
“We are now going through the mining advisory council process which is a regulatory process. The State negotiation team will look after the mine development contract, which is a national function.
The association will be asked to make presentation at the right time,” Minister Tuke said.
He commended the Porgera people and landowners for allowing the mine to continue without any disturbances after the mine licence expired last August.