Clean-up of mine waste

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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.


  • Minister Mori – tell us why ship all the residue to Hong Kong? Is there a deal between the PNG government and the Hong Kong Financial Group Ltd to do dredging at no cost for the residues? Is there any value in these residues and can these residues be utilized for other purposes anywhere in the country?? There’s more to this than what you’re telling us here.

    • Environment Minister, This is not waste as people may think. The company is say it is waste but it worth Millions if not billions. Where do you guys think the tailings disposed from Ok Tedi Mine and Porgera goes? and what do you think the tailings contain? They are actually targeting the residual minerals from the deltas of PNG. Stop these before we complain crying over spilt milk. The Foreign investor is not a non-sense here saying it want to collect the waste from PNG. After Ok Tedi and Porgera close, these areas can be PNG’s Future mine sites at the deltas.

  • Why ship all the residue to Hong Kong radar then utilizing in infrastructure development project such as roads,
    Western Province lack road links from its provincial capital Daru town to rural areas.

  • Very true DS & JK.

    It is known that sediments contain minerals such as quartz, feldspar, clay minerals, iron oxides, and other organic matters – which have of course valuable uses.
    For instance, quartz can be derived and used as an electrical component like oscillators in complex electrical circuits such as in radios, mobile phones, TVs, computers, etc… So quart is a valuable mineral, that can be easily obtained from sediments. Feldspar can be used in glass making, ceramics and even as a filler & extender in paint, plastics and rubber, and has many other uses. And feldspar can be obtained easily from sediments. Clay minerals are excellent as clarifiers, absorption and adsorption materials. They are used in many industrial applications such as paper, paint, petroleum, ceramic, cement, adhesive, asphalt, and food and health-care industry due to their versatility, abundance, and low cost – LOW COST. Iron oxide can be used as iron ores, pigments, catalysts, and in thermite (eg. welding), and occur in hemoglobin. Iron oxides are inexpensive and durable pigments in paints, coatings and colored concretes. (Not to mention other valuable resources like gold dusts, etc..)
    So going through these very brief mineral components in sediments, their uses and their values; in what terms can we say that our sediments are invaluable to us and have no uses?
    It is understood also that build up of sediments can cause floods. Then since we can know their uses, why not harvest them ourselves and sell them or process them? Two way benefit – reduction of flooding in low land areas & income from selling or processing the useful minerals.
    We cannot just give it away at no cost.! Its totally wrong.
    We must think and use our heads in this. Think……………………………………………………………………………..!.
    (Source: Google).

  • At no cost? How could you get anything out from our country at no cost? There was a Malaysian/ Singaporean company that is trying to but sand from Madang. Maybe that company can be engaged there and at least country gets something in return.
    Wera Mori must be aware that he does not own this country, let alone the people decide what they want.

  • They will be laughing all the way to Hong Kong knowing the value of the sand or sediment they are taking. There has to be some form of payment for the sediment that must be worked out. If the government wants to give it away for free, than let the locals of Fly delta benefit!

  • This is another example of exploitation. I thought that many Papua New Guineans are educated and here again we are to be exploited. Sentiments are important and they are part of land. Sentiments can be used for land reclamation. Don’t look at money all the time. We see and hear shoreline erosion. Why can we collect and pore them there to protect our people.

  • This is a daylight stealing?
    This government and Mr.Were.Mori are fooling PNG citizens!
    Those sediments are still valuable, how can it be given away freely?

  • There is a sand mine going on around the world so this could be another deal done to remove our soil/sand to hongkong…

  • Mr Mori, thats the reason why Mining tails disposal by riverine discharge and DSTP must be outlawed, and never ever be allowed again in any mines in the country

  • Wera Mori is insane. That’s what “Take Back PNG” means or what are the real motives?

    PNG going to the dogs again.

  • Wera Mori, Most PNGunineans are geologist and miners, so you are saying that, there will be a free Gold and Copper under sea mining in western province, without paying tax to the goverment and the Land owers. Come On; how can we take back PNG and make black riches nation in the pacific, think and talk for the nation as a whole.

  • He (Minister) announced a project to dredge and clean the Fly River at no cost to Ok Tedi Mining Ltd or the State is a joke.
    No job is done for free by one country to another but this situation is one of something to set a new record. This is a situation of Cost and Benefit issue. What the minister does not see is that those soil has been there for ages even before he was born. The runoffs from the mountains of Ok Tedi and Pogera have been deposited in those sediments. The river will at some point in time again be mined to extract the contents in the seabed.

    The company will ship all the residue to Hong Kong
    Shipping the sediment/soil to Hong Kong would definitely be very expensive, however, someone has definitely done his/her feasibility studies to prove the benefit of shipping and the cost. The content in those soil outweighs the cost therefore the cost is not of any concern to the company.

    A Minister of State very limited in the knowledge of sediments in the tributary blindly coming on the media making a very low profile statement as free and at No-cost to the State and Ok Tedi Mine truly a joke. People of PNG, be mindful that such Minister is benefiting from the free sediments which he claims it to be.
    Disallow this project and tell the Minister and his partners to go and dretch the Main Wharves that are silting up like the Lae WHarf. Engage them to collect the Sediment from Lae if the Second phase of the Tidal Basin project is to start.

    Food for Thought

  • This is not right and should not be allowed. Dredging of sediments or alluvial deposits is a form of mining. In any case this company will need to apply for Underwater lease to access the deposit or sediments. Please be careful with such a project. We don’t want to lose valuable resource.

  • With due respect to the authority I believe the developer should apply for Underwater lease to access the sediments/deposits before embarking on the dreging project.

  • What s load of hog wash. Here we give the slush sediments with tonnes of soft minerals that have value. Has the Minister and the Department gone mad. Why can’t we engage our own specialist companies in country to extract these soft minerals, using our own scientists… goodness me.. Someone’s got to advice this old man before he starts suggesting PNG sells all it’s gold and silver and copper for free.

  • We are supposed to have short memories:
    Read this …
    2000-18-12 Sunken PNG cyanide ticking time bomb (1984 -2700 drums in 15 containers)
    By Kevin Meade

    PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (December 11, 2000 – The Australian)—Marine experts fear a cyanide shipment that sank off the Papua New Guinea coast 16 years ago is an environmental time bomb ticking away on Australia’s northern doorstep. There are also fears the sunken cargo of about 2,600 drums of cyanide poses a threat to the Great Barrier Reef as it went down just 70 kilometers (42 miles) north of the Reef’s northern most point, Bramble Cay in the Torres Strait. A study has shown that currents passing through the area where the shipment sank flow down to the reef.

  • That’s a good idea of removing the unwanted sedimentation for too long along fly deltas but again as you all have said there is no free handout of this country to offer to another country. Mori is just another dump brainless thinking figure not considering some precious metal that the sand consist of.

    May he is being bribed by this so called hongkong company. Government must do better arrangements for the the benefit of our country and especially people of fly river corridors.

  • This might give some insight into what the sand is dredged for.

    Small countries like Singapore and Hong Kong are very small countries landmass-wise, yet their economic growth rates and population growth are ever expanding. They have therefore done alot of land reclamation from the sea. Sand is the main material for these reclamation exercises. They’ve been buying sand from Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia but due to environmental/ecosystem concerns some of these countries have outlawed or have strict regulations on sand export. I suspect these is why they’ve come searching for sand in PNG.

    Should the sand be paid for? Maybe yes, maybe not. The cost of shipping sand from Western Province to Hong Kong may not be worth it, if there is a price tag. They may have negotiated with the PNG govt to take it for free, in exchange for cleaning up the waste sand that is currently creating environmental havoc along the OK Tedi and fly river system. The dredging operation at Bige would be costing OK Tedi alot of money so the offer to dredge the sand for free would have appealed to the govt.

    I believe this is a win-win for PNG and the other party.

    As for the value of the economic minerals contained in the sand, I don’t believe there is any. I would think you’d probably spend more money trying to extract so little of anything with value out of the sand.

  • Another grave concern, serious political shallow and naive indecision again. This learnt minister knows exactly what he is doing. Big man, maus grass man and adult person with clear conscious with full knowledge of what he is conspiring with his business counterparts knows what is at stake. PMJM are not seen what your senior minister is doing? Do you have an SME Policy? Why are you letting your minister knowingly engaging himself in this business without involvement along the affected areas to be partners. This minister is definitely bringing bad name to this government.

  • That’s a great idea but why hiring a finance company from Hon Kong to collect all the sediments from Oktedi & Porgera mining and export them to Hong Kong. We Papua New Guineans never heard of sediments building along Oktedi/Porgera rivers or seas causing any damages to the surrounding communities since for some good donkey years. Come on minister, enough of taking the opportunity for the minister position for your self greed. I appeal to the elite locals who are from the surrounding areas where Oktedi/Porgera mining sediments passes through to stop this project and take ownership of it ASAP by asking the government for your shares. Just remember why would a finance company interested in sediments from our two minings and export these sediments back to Hong Kong.
    This is a broad day light corruption, I appeal to the PM to consider this project suggested by MP Mori for the good of the nation.

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