The National, Friday 28th June, 2013
A GROUP of landowners of the Mt Kare gold project claims that a mining company is still operating in the area after its exploration licence had expired last year.
Executives of landowner company Ipaita Ltd, which is also vying for an exploration licence, have called on the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) to resolve the matter.
They claimed the licence held by Summit Development Ltd had expired last August.
The executives said that Mining Minister Byron Chan had directed MRA acting managing director Philip Samar to grant exploration licence (EL) 1093 to Ipaita Ltd in May last year.
MRA executive manager, regulatory operations, Roger Gunson said yesterday that the renewal of EL 1093 to Summit was pending.
He added that Ipaita would not be considered even if it applied.
“The renewal of Exploration Licence EL 1093, following a careful review and assessment, and with the benefit of a comprehensive Warden’s Hearing Report (the hearing was conducted in January), was considered by the mining advisory council at its meeting in April,” Gunson said.
“While a tenement may technically ‘expire’ while under renewal, the Mining Act preserves the tenement holders’ tenure and rights until the renewal application is determined,” Gunson said in a statement.
“It is our understanding that the minister is still considering it.”