The National, Wednesday 5th June 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
THE Government is serious about upgrading the operations of the state-owned Tolukuma gold mine, according to Goilala MP Daniel Mona.
He said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had taken a personal interest in ensuring that problems faced by mine workers and others were addressed.
The mine is situated in the Woitape local level government in Goilala district, Central.
It follows four weeks of uncertainty after Petromin and Tolukuma acting chief executive officer Sam Inguba and Central Governor Kila Haoda were forced to return to Port Moresby after being met by unhappy mine workers.
This led to the temporary shutdown of mining operations.
But Mona said it was now “water under the bridge”.
“The Government is committed to the review of the MoA to make it more practical and in the best interest of the people,” Mona said.
“Important lessons have been learnt since the Government took ownership in 2008 and with all stakeholders, we are all committed to ensuring that it becomes the best state-owned entity.
“The National Government has potential investors lining up and this must be seen as confidence that they are make in-roads to re-investing in the mine.”
A recent reconciliation and restoration ceremony saw the mine workers and the Yulai Landowners Association make peace in traditional Goilala fashion – the killing of pig and spitting of betel nut to mark the end to a conflict.