THIS refers to article entitled “Wafi-Golpu development contract talks to start” (The National, Friday, Oct 1, 2021).
It was reported that the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) managing director Jerry Garry told The National that both the State and the mine joint venture partners had held talks on the mines development contract and a review of those exchanges was underway.
The question is, on what legal basis will the State enter into a development contract with tenement holders (namely Newcrest PNG 2 Ltd and Wafi Mining Ltd) when compensation agreement and exploration licences EL440 and EL1105 are flawed?
The tenement holder had illegally entered customary land to conduct unauthorised exploration activities without permission from the landholder as determined by Land Court.
The National Government, through NEC decision 250/2010, was for the Government to comply with existing Land Court decisions on various interest to customary land proposed Wafi-Golpu special mining lease (SML) is located on, including absolute ownership interest to land, to avoid contempt of land court order charges.
The Department of Prime Minister and the National Executive Council (NEC) in a letter dated 22nd January 2019 addressed to MRA MD, Jerry N Garry and copied to DMP secretary on subject matter titled “Contempt of Land Court Order on Ownership of SML 10 Land” had requested for appropriate regulatory intervention on this issue.
According to MTDP 3 2018-2022, the project is scheduled to get off the ground in 2022 but the MRA MD had failed to take appropriate corrective regulatory action as requested by DPM and NEC and went ahead with an illegal development contract talks with Developer subjecting the project to legal risk.
Rule of Law