Alluvial mines reserved for locals to explore, says Tuke

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COMPANIES with exploration licence do not have the right to stop landowners from doing alluvial mining in areas listed under their exploration licence, Mining Minster Johnson Tuke says.
He said under the Constitution, a company could obtain an exploration licence but alluvial mining was confined and reserved for landowners.
Tuke was responding to East Sepik Governor Allan Bird’s questions relating to landowner groups in Maprik being denied access by a foreign company to do alluvial mining on their own land.
Bird said even though the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) issued a number of alluvial mining licences to landowner groups for the many alluvial prospects there, issues were still faced by those operating under those licences.
He said a foreigner was killed three months ago in his province as a result of issues relating to the MRA alluvial mining licences.
“MRA and other Government departments and agencies do not consult us before allowing foreign companies to operate in our province,” he said.
Bird said a foreigner operating in Maprik had restricted local landowners from obtaining alluvial mining licences to operate on their own land. “What happens to the rights of landowners when MRA issues exploration licences to foreign companies to operate on their land?” Bird asked.
Tuke said even though alluvial mining was reserved for landowners, MRA, through its mining advisory council, had the power to determine who was capable of conducting mining activities.
Northern Governor Gary Juffa also raised a concern about MRA conducting warden hearings in the absence of landowners.
“Landowners need to be properly advised about the time and venue of these warden hearings to avoid inconveniences,” he said.
Tuke said the issue was a result of poor communication between MRA, provinces and landowners.

3 comments

  • This is the key to development in PNG “COMMUNICATION”. It seems people with vested interests have always by-pass or get around this very important process for reasons only known to them. This has been an ongoing failure by the authorities but the government has still not addressed. The government and the honorable mining minister cannot continue giving this same old excuses. Stop adding issues again on issues already at hand, find a solution and fix it once and for all.

  • So to turn away poor resource owners from their vast resources and concentrating on scratches while developers and state are really exploiting our resources. Change all those appropriate Acts to really benefit resource owners or we turn those projects to chaos

  • Alluvial mining should be reserved for landowners to pursue.
    The only concern eith alluvial mining is the environmental damage it causes if not closely monitored by the government. It can aldo create socioeconomic problems among tribes sndclans if not manage properly. Positive development in customary land by landowners is the way to ho but they need help to undetstand the consequences that come with such development snd how to manage or mitigate them
    .

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