Check policy on Wafi-Golpu


THE current mining policy on landholder group structures states that landholders from mining project areas shall be represented by their umbrella landowner associations in development forums, consultation meetings and negotiations and reviews of agreements.
The policy states that the formation of an incorporated land group (ILG) will not give the landowner any special recognition.
The State will only recognise and deal with the umbrella landowner association formed through this structure where representation is done through a general election by landowners through a transparent and fair process.
The policy further states that the developer and the State shall carry out social mapping and landholder identification exercise at the exploration phase of the project in accordance with internationally-recognised guidelines.
Social mapping and landowner identification study reports shall be submitted to the State as part of the proposal for mine development prior to granting of mining lease. This policy on landholder structure group has no legal basis as it was not legislated in Mining Act 1992.
There is no provision on ILG, association, social mapping or landowner identification study in determining customary landowners and representation in development forums and negotiations.
Section 4 of the Act recognises the mechanism of Land Dispute Settlement Act 1975 as the preferred option in determination of customary ownership.
Section 2 (a) of the Mining Act on defines a “landholder” as a person who is recognised as an owner of customary land.
It is through the land court order under Land Dispute Settlement Act that a person can be recognised as a landowner.
Section 3(2)(b) of the Mining Act states that mining minister shall invite such a person to development forums to fairly represent the views of the landholders.
The minister invites a person who is recognised as the owner of customary land by an order of land court under Land Dispute Settlement Act.
The tenement holder signs a compensation agreement with the landholder under Section 155 of the Mining Act to enter land. There is evidence that Prime Minister’s Office, Mining minister, Mineral Resources Authority, Justice minister, Attorney-General recognised a clan (landholder) in the Mumeng local level government area of Bulolo, Morobe, on absolute ownership of customary land that hosts the Wafi-Golpu mining project.
However, there is no evidence of these landholders attending development forums.
The National Executive Council decision 250/2010 says the State will comply with the land court order to avoid contempt charges.
Yanta, Hengambu and Babuaf villages are not special mining lease landholders.