By GYNNIE KERO
THE Madang Tourism Industry Association (MTIA) has raised concern over the potential environmental impact of a sand mining company set to operate in the province.
According to the association, Niugini Sands Ltd proposed to mine sand in Sumgilbar in Sumkar.
Association chairman Sir Peter Barter said the mining would affect the environment.
“These types of projects, especially to do with our marine ecosystems, will affect the leatherback turtle sanctuary in the Sumgilbar LLG,” he said.
Mas Kagin Tapani Association (Makata) chairman Wenceslaus Magun said he was saddened by the proposed mining project.
“The leatherbacks’ conservation sites from Murunas plantations all the way to Murukanam would be affected by a sand company with foreign investor interest,” he said.
Magun said he and the Makata team were frustrated that selfish leaders were behind the proposed project.
“The challenge we faced in securing long-term grants to achieve our objectives is now seeing the ugly face of negative development at the whim of corporate greed and selfish community leaders and their cohorts driving their agenda using gaps in our efforts,” he said.
MTIA and the team from Makata urged locals in Madang and around the country to not take bribes or assist any company in sand mining.
A search on the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) website showed that the Singapore company was incorporated by IPA on Jan 11.
Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) managing director Jerry Garry confirmed that a firm had taken interest in mining sand off the coast of Madang.
But, he said, a decision had not yet been made to grant it an exploration licence.
By GYNNIE KERO