Authority reassures landowners of benefits


MINERAL Resources Authority reassures landowners of the Wafi-Golpu project that they have not missed out on benefits from the project.
Managing director Jerry Garry in a statement said a memorandum of understanding signed between the State and the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) was different to a memorandum of agreement (MoA), and had nothing to do with landowner and stakeholder benefits.
“The MoU that was signed was merely intended to establish some understanding and guidelines that give assurance to the investor that the Government was supportive of the investment to develop this major project.
“It is an understanding that sets out the intent of both the national government and the developer to complete the MoA and other regulatory deliverables to enable the Wafi Golpu mine project to commence within a reasonable timeframe.
“It does not in any way settle the benefits that are going to be negotiated during the development forum/MoA process.”
Garry explained that the MoA benefits negotiations will be conducted under the development forum process which commenced last year.
The first round of meetings was being planned for early next month. MRA will take the lead in this process and all parties, including the Morobe government and affected LLGs are urged to participate.
This will ensure a mutually beneficial outcome that will be set out in a MoA.
“I assure our landowners and stakeholders that you will be fully engaged in the MoA benefits negotiation process,” Garry said.
“I want to give confidence to you all, that the MRA and its government line agencies are committed to the MoA process, and we will make sure that you are adequately consulted on the way forward.”
He urged landowners and stakeholders to address grievances through proper avenues and appropriate authorities, without taking court injunctions or forced shut downs.
He said further unnecessary disturbances, would derail the process, create uncertainty, increase the level of investment risks and may potentially result in the withdrawal of investment by the developers.
“I therefore urge all stakeholders to cooperate in the MoA negotiation process so that we can realise optimal benefits to recognised impacted landowners, Morobe provincial and local-level governments and people of PNG as a result of this US$5.5 billion (K18.48bil) investment.”