The National – Thursday, December 30, 2010
By STEPHANIE ELIZAH
A POST mine closure social impact assessment for Misima Island, Milne Bay, will be among a series of feasibility studies conducted in the new year.
This is according to Eguma Misima Special Mining Lease (S.M.L) Landowner Business Group Inc managing director Tauleia Mosibe.
He confirmed this when accepting a cheque for K6 million from National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten on Tuesday in Port Moresby.
“This money will be used to carry out a series of feasibility studies for a number of projects in Misima and the Lousiade chain of islands.
“It will also be used to carry out a post-mine closure social impact assessment to develop a long-term development plan for the island groups,” Mosibe said.
He explained that the development plan was not developed since Misima mine closed, despite it being a part of the memorandum of agreement (MoA) between the national government, the Milne Bay government and SML landowner groups towards mine closure.
“The neglect in not developing the long-term development plan for Misima, had allowed the conditions on the island to worsen.
“Despite the country benefiting enormously from the mine, there is little to show for on Misima Island,” he said.
He appealed to the Milne Bay government to support what his group was doing and added that the group would now be able to pave a new direction and way forward for a sustainable and brighter future for the new generations.
Meanwhile, Tienstein said the government recognised the significant contribution made by Misima mine and as such, showed its gratitude to the people of Misima by ensuring that their livelihoods did not slip back to the pre-mine levels.