Then National, Tuesday 11th September, 2012
A LANDOWNER group is calling on the government to investigate the legality of the Mineral Resources Authority.
Resource owners federation of PNG chairman Jonathan Paraia said in Port Moresby yesterday the authority’s licence might not be valid.
“I raise this concern following the former mining department secretary James Wanjik’s statement in The National last week that he was terminated because he was against the establishing of the MRA.
“If the information provided by Wanjik is true then I’m in support of him that the government needs to quickly engage an independent investigation team to look into the legality of the licensing of MRA,” he said.
“I’m of the view that if MRA, as a state agency, should be protecting the interests of the nation and most importantly its people, but if it was illegally set up, then it will not perform in protecting our interest.
“We will have similar debates like in the deep sea mining and other onshore mining that may be new to us and we want an agency that can work independently for the good of this nation and its people,” he added.
Paraia said if the authority’s licence was invalid as claimed by Wanjik, than the licence given to the Canadian-based company was invalid as well.
“It is of great concern and the government needs to carry out a full investigation.”
Wanjik called on concerned groups not to question the effect of seabed mining on the environment but to question the validity of the mineral licence issued to Nautilus Minerals.