Hidden Valley gold mine ‘pollution’ row continues



VILLAGERS and leaders raising pollution and royalty concerns from the operations of the Hidden Valley mine should consult relevant authorities first, Morobe Fisheries Management Authority (MFMA) chairman Isaac Pologo said yesterday.
Fresh calls were made over the weekend by Labu-Buttu villagers to have an environmental impact assessment done by the government to determine the extent of damage to the river systems, sea, and land.
They said the fish stocks had been depleted.
Labu-Buttu villagers, Wampar LLG councillors Jeffrey Tipi and Douglas Gedisa demanded instant action “to protect the livelihood” of the people from the effects of mining by Morobe Mining Joint Venture.
But Mr Pologo called on the leaders to “stop making negative remarks and seek help” from relevant authorities.
“My office is the podium representing the provincial government and anything under aquaculture or concerned with the marine ecosystem, should come through my office first,” he said.
He said any outstanding issues they had would be settled, adding that MMJV had already provided an initial funding of K50,000 to help address marine resource issues.
The funding would increase in the future, he said.
“With such assurance from the mining company, it would be better if the people acknowledge the working relationship that the company has tried to establish with them, instead of attacking them with negative remarks,” Mr Pologo said, adding that the people within these communities should consult with MFMA on fisheries projects.