By MALUM NALU
Morobe Mining Joint Venture partners, Harmony and Newcrest, will be held responsible for any incidents involving cyanide, according to stipulations in the International Cyanide Management Code.
Harmony last week admitted that there were “higher-than-expected” sediment levels in the Watut River, MMJV started paying compensation to affected villagers along the Watut River and Bulolo MP Sam Basil called on villagers not to accept the payouts.
MMJV is paying K2.6 million to affected villagers, while the Bulolo joint district planning and budget priorities committee (JDPBPC) has engaged an Australian-based PNG toxicologist to measure pollution levels.
Basil also stepped up his campaign against the compensation by using the internet to seek votes to stop the K2.6 million payment.
Bloggers are being asked to vote on the question, “Should affected Watut River villagers accept the K2.6 million compensation from Morobe Mining Joint Ventures for pollution of their river?”
South African miner Harmony and Newcrest of Australia, which are joint venture partners in the Hidden Valley gold mine in Morobe province, are both
signatories to the international cyanide management code for the manufacture, transport and use of cyanide in the production of gold.
The code is a voluntary industry programme for the gold mining industry to promote:
* Responsible management of cyanide used in gold mining;
* Enhance the protection of human health; and
* Reduce the potential for environmental impacts.
“Companies that become signatories to the code must have their operations audited by an independent third party to demonstrate their compliance with the code,” according to the code website.