Landowners deserve full benefits from project: Lupari

National

LANDOWNERS must get maximum benefit from the US$5 billion (K17.47bil) Wafi-Golpu copper-gold project in Morobe, says Isaac Lupari, the chairman of the State Negotiating Team.
The team is preparing to hold final talks next week with the developers Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd and Newcrest Mining Ltd.
Prime Minister James Marape said he wanted the K18 billion project off the ground urgently as too much time had been wasted on it.
Lupari said they would avoid the mistakes they made during negotiations for other projects where landowners were “bystanders”.
“We must get 60 to 65 per cent, we must have equity ownership and be in the engine room making decisions and ensuring that they pay tax, royalty and development levy,” he said.
“Locals must have real spin-off businesses from these projects and not only become truck drivers and security officers.
“These are not businesses.
“We want to make sure that we realise the policy direction set by the Government.
“PNG must be active participants in any resource development.”
Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil said the lengthy on-going discussions had delayed the start of the project and held back potential business opportunities in Lae.
“We want Wafi-Golpu to commence as soon as possible.”

2 comments

  • The Wafi-Golpu landowners and coastal impacted clans should check what Newcrest has done to the environmental reserve of Turtle Beach at their Lihir mine. They have reclaimed over 200m of land in front of the Lihirians’ sacred Alaia Rock. Was that in the Environmental Impact Assessment they gave the government?
    They were also given permit to dump polluting tailings into ocean at a fixed distance from the shore. Surely that distance is now less having been compromised by this massive reclamation intrusion into the bay?

  • Yes Landowners must get Maximum Benefits! Hope Mr Lupari stands his ground and does not take the bait of Newcrest the “Cost Saving Company” Landowners of Wafi-Golpu must travel to Lihir and see for first hand the “Permanant” Environmental Impact on the Mine Affected Areas. The reefs were covered when the mine reclaimed land since then no Permanent Compensation package or Compensation to improve livelihoods have been given 20years into the Mine Life. Very sad to see Landowners/Relocatees not go fishing. Since mining commenced the Landowners/Relocatees have been relocated next to the Plant Site(Relocation houses need urgent renovation) and have been directly exposed to equipment Noise, Flotation plant chemical smell, Sulphur Dioxide gases from pressure oxidation and Dust from Mining or Haulage. From the exposure the affected community recieves k450 a month as an inconvenience payment. This k450 a month is used by Relocatees to buy food as they have been resettled to hemlets where it’s very hard to make big gardens to sustain a family for a month without having land disputes amongst themselves.

    Currently State Sanctioned Negotiations have been happening at Lihir it has taken almost 3years as Newcrest stood its ground to most of the issues raised by the 13 tenament groups of SML6 and LMP. At first Newcrest put up k54 million(Should be in dollars as gold is sold in dollars) Kina annually for the 13 Tenament groups, after rejection from most Tenament groups to their portion of K54mil Newcrest has increased just abit.

    People of Wafi-golpu, Morobe province and Mr Lupari hope you can bit Newcrest and get a 60percent share as stated by Mr Lupari.

    From observation Newcrest is wining as it has already convinced the state with its Environmental Impact Statement to operate without a Tailings Dam and employ Deep Sea Tailings Placement to as usual “Save Cost”

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