The National, Tuesday 21st August, 2012
PARLIAMENT has not sanctioned a “moratorium” on mining in New Irelands so the Mineral Resource Authority(MRA) would continue to perform its mandatory duties. Acting chief executive officer for New Ireland Philip Samar made the comment when responding to claims in the media by New Ireland provincial government chairman for mining Marius Soiat.Soiat said the provincial government maintained its “moratorium” on mining in the province and is demanding for immediate abolishment of MRA and was applying a “person non grata” on Canadian deep-sea mining company Nautilus Minerals in the province.Samar said mining was a national function and it was the duty of the national government to put a “moratorium” on mining activities in the province.
He said that was not the case after checking with NEC and they would wait for confirmation from the New Ireland provincial government. Samar said Nautilus Mineral has gone through all proper legislation to acquire mining licence.He said though there were no specific acts on “deep sea mining” in the country, the mining laws cover for all aspect of mining in the country.“The Mining Act and Environmental Act cover for mining activity.
The government has worked on a deep sea mining operation laws and legislation. Nautilus would start mining in 2014 and 2015, thus it is ample time for the government to have the policy and legislative guidelines for “deep sea mining before it commences operation, As to Nautilus getting kicked out I want to remind Mr Soiat that Nautilus followed all laws and has be granted mining license” Samar said.
“I just returned over the weekend having sat through these review meetings to ensure that the state’s interest and that of the other parties are progressed to the next stage of discussion and just to show that Mr Soait is pushing another agenda,” Samar said.
Samar assured the New Ireland provincial government that MRA is ensuring that both reviews of Lihir and Simberi are progressing within rest of this year.