THE Porgera mine has been closed for a year.
The mine should have resumed earlier on if there were no leadership tussles.
The court battles going on for decades between Porgera leaders about the welfare of people of Porgera have been stalled due to infighting amongst themselves over higher authority.
There are many groups popping up with the intention to defy Porgera Landowners Association, which is the recognised mouth piece of the special mining lease (SML) landowners.
Recently, some leaders in the mining area went to Porgera to conduct the election of four SML representatives to Porgera development authority board without the knowledge of district and provincial authorities.
The Paiela local government had nominated its representative in a proper manner.
SML representatives should be nominated through appropriate means.
This tactic of hijacking the processes are delaying the mine’s resumption.
The differences in local leadership had gotten the attention of the Government and caused the mine to close.
The Government, under Prime Minister James Marape, should distance itself from Porgera leaders if it wants to rescue the mine.
The Government needs to address legal issues with the landowners before working on reopening the mine.
If there is stable leadership in the community, there is a possibility of a profitable and reputable mine.
The Government needs to fund the elections of leadership of Porgera Land Owners Association, appointment of small to medium enterprises (SME) representatives in the Porgera development authority and other matters.
Failure to do so will result in the mine remaining closed for an undesired period of time.
Shutting down the mine has affected many people.
If the mine doesn’t resume soon, about 20,000 people will be facing starvation and will be listed below the poverty level.
So far, SMEs in Porgera had reportedly lost about K132 million in the last 12 months.
Porgera Chamber of Commerce and Industry