THE Minister for Environment and Conservation has deferred a meeting with Morobe leaders to discuss the Hidden Valley mine while he goes on a fact-finding mission.
Benny Allan has written to Morobe Governor Luther Wenge, Bulolo MP Sam Basil, other MP’s and the provincial administration to say that he would meet them on a later date to discuss the mine’s impact on the environment.
Today, he and his department secretary, Dr Wari Iamo, will visit Hidden Valley for a first-hand look.
Mr Allan and his team spent two days in Kokopo, discussing Solwara 1 undersea mining with East New Britain Governor Leo Dion and the provincial administration.
He said the department and Nautilus Mining did a presentation for the leaders and responded to environmental concerns raised by people.
“These concerns addressed, we will proceed to sign the approval in principle for the environment permit.
“This is the whole purpose of going to Kokopo,” he said.
They also visited the Lihir gold mine which Mr Allan describred as “very fruitful”.
The team visited the geo-thermal power plant, mine site, technical training centre and waste disposal area.
The meeting was followed by a power-point presentation by company officials.
Mr Allan said environment council members would also visit the mine to inspect the waste disposal plant and other areas which fall under their jurisdiction.
In the Hidden Valley, the minister and his team will visit the mine site and Upper Watut River where there is build-up in sediments from the construction phase of the mine.