State urged to hold off project agreement on Frieda


A LAWYER and a former MP have urged the Government to hold off the project agreement on the Frieda copper and gold project until after the general election next year.
Former Maprik MP in East Sepik Sir Pita Lus and lawyer Alois Jerewai said it should be left to the leaders elected in 2017.
“The mandate of the Government and the East and the West Sepik provincial governments have only less than one year to expire.
“Therefore the decision in relation to the terms and conditions of the Frieda mine project must be left to the leaders after the 2017 general elections,” Jerewai said.
“It concerns us that the Government under the stewardship of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is rushing to have the Frieda mine brought into operation to sustain the seriously falling economy of Papua New Guinea at any cost.”
He said the biggest cost would be the ecological impact on the Sepik River basin and the tributaries which support and sustain almost half a million of people.
“In the event that the mine is rushed into operation without proper scrutiny by our current leaders, the Sepik people will be the ones who will suffer the most,” Jerewai said.
Sir Pita called on the Government, the Mineral Resource Authority and the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority to provide the proposed or the actual mine waste management and disposal plan to the provincial governments for assessment by their own scientists and engineers.

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