By GYNNIE KERO
AN overseas company will be involved in a major dredging project in the Gulf of Papua to remove all the sediments building up there, says Environment and Conservation Minister Wera Mori.
Mori said the company from Hong Kong would undertake the project and ship away all the sediment to clear the waterways and sea at no cost to the Government.
He announced yesterday a project to dredge and clean the Fly River at no cost to Ok Tedi Mining Ltd or the State.
Ok Tedi currently spends K273.3 million annually on its dredging operation at Bige which has so far seen a regrowth.
Mori said the sedimentation had the potential to affect marine life, reef ecosystems and farming land for the Middle Fly people.
Mori therefore considered a proposal to clean up the Fly River system by the Hong Kong Finance Commercial Group Ltd.
Mori said a similar clean-up exercise would be done on the Ramu River and other river systems affected by a buildup in sedimentation.
The company will ship all the residue to Hong Kong.
Mori said Parliament had passed the Ok Tedi Mining Environment Management Act 2020 “for the Government and independent contractors to assist Ok Tedi Mining Ltd for a sustainable environmental management programme in Western, especially the tributaries of Ok Tedi River and Fly River systems”.
“The Government is concerned about the amount of revenue generated by the mine that is dependent on the mine life.
“The mine life depends on a sustainable environment to commensurate the 2025 CMCA (Community Mine Continuation Agreement) review,” he said.
By GYNNIE KERO