Frieda project starting in 2019: Tuke

National

By GYNNIE KERO
the Frieda River gold and copper mining project on the border of East and West Sepik is expected to begin in 2019, says Mining Minister Johnson Tuke says.
Tuke, a government delegation and developer PanAust visited the prospect site last Thursday.
Three quarters of the project site is in the Telefomin district of West Sepik and the rest is in the Ambunti-Dreikikir district of East Sepik.
It is estimated that the gold and copper project will cost US$3.6 billion (K11.2 billion).
Some non-government bodies have already raised their concern about the impact of the mine on the Sepik River and the 400,000 people living along it.
Tuke said the construction phase would begin in 2019 and production should start between 2030 and 2040.
Developer PanAust plans to get the mine off the ground in line with the Government’s 100-day Plan and within the life of this parliament and government.
He said the government was in support of the East Sepik and West Sepik communities and all stakeholders.
“The government has to do something now. I’ve given them two years to go through the government agencies including Conservation and Environment Protection Authority, Mineral Resources Authority, provincial governments and the extractive industry,” he said.
“I am pleased that the landowners want to work with the government after 50 frustrating years of waiting.”

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