Final trial allowed to verify mine landowners

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 5th January 2012

MEMBERS of the Piu Land Group Inc from Morobe are staging several celebrations throughout the country after the National Court in Waigani last Friday granted leave to them and 11 other parties for a final trial.
The final trial will allow for a fair hearing to determine the rightful landowners of the Wafi-Golpu mine in the Mumeng district, Morobe.
The decision handed down by Justice George Manuhu comes almost a year after former mining minister John Pundari revoked the appointments of the three Special Land Title (SLT) Commissioners in Lawrence Titimur, Robert Urung and Richard Cherake and disbanded the hearing into the Wafi-Golpu landowners grievances.
A relieved Piu Land Group Inc chairman Martin Tapei said the victory was for the people.
He said the decision would now enable the Land Title Commissions to continue and complete its hearing from all parties before a decision was made to determine the legitimate landowners.
He said the SLT Commissioners had covered most issues but only two matters were selected and they were inspections of the land boundary and the submission form of all parties.
Tapei said the Wafi-Golpu mine was predicted to be the next biggest mine in PNG.
The mine is said to contain 26.6 million ounces of gold and nine million tonnes of copper
Tapei said now that the court had made its decision, the members of the land group were staging celebrations throughout the country.
He appealed to his people, supporters and interested parties to remain calm and wait for the outcome of the final hearing.