Organisations call on govt to stop Frieda River mine


TEN United Nations rapporteurs, with the UN Working Group on Human Rights and Transformational Corporations, have written to the PNG Government concerning the Frieda River copper and gold mine and the risks involved, according to two non-governmental organisations.
Project Sepik and Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights (Celcor) Inc yesterday reiterated their stance against the project.
Project Sepik advocator Zephaniah Winduo Aaron said with such strong international attention on the issue, he called on the Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority (Cepa) to reject the operator’s environmental impact statement and the project outright.
He was flanked by volunteer Vernon Gawi, Celcor executive director Peter Bosip, environmental activist Mathilda Koma and Project Sepik coordinator Emmanuel Pedi.
The letter raised serious concerns about the potential human rights impact of the project, including rights to life, health, bodily integrity, water and food and the right to free, prior and informed consent.
Bosip said the address by the special rapporteurs was important and had to be seriously considered.
“This statement is not made by one, but 10 different special rapporteurs, who have untied to highlight these issues with our national government,” he said.
Pedi said it was heartening for all Sepik people to know that their voices had been heard.
The letter followed an appeal to the UN special rapporteur on toxic wastes by Project Sepik and Celcor.
“The Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) must also stop this mine from going ahead, and refuse to approve the project and the proposed tailings dam,” Pedi said.
Attempts to get comments from Cepa and MRA yesterday were unsuccessful.


  • This project must go ahead as scheduled. The PNG government must listen to doomsday preachers. PNG and the landowners need this mine for the good of development, etc.

    • Doomsday preachers you say… try pack all your cargoes na move godan stap klostu lo Fly river. I think that will be heaven for you since that is the habitat your type of species thrive in. An habitat of dead or poisoned fish, fresh water, and no form of development.

  • East Sepik People are also united, they will reject aggression, suppression, intimidation, threats, etc..
    Citizens will sacrifice their natural environment, their livelihood will be affected, their heritage lost, flora and fauna habitat destroyed inviting ugly confrontation. Where riches abound danger lurks.
    I was captain of the ship that delivered 2 x drilling machines from Canada to drill beyond 1000M. At Kasali Depo upstream Iniok a chinook helicopter hovered few hundred meters in the air and hooked the drilling machines and airfreighted them into Frieda River basin. I believe the drills are somewhere in Freida River basin causing havoc.

  • For many years now, foreign companies were assured by our politicians that they would be open to bribery and once a few million kinas had been placed in the right hands those companies could go about their business without any concern for the environment or welfare of the local people. This has ensured that, throughout the world, Papua New Guinea is known as “a country we can do business with”.
    If all of a sudden those companies are told they can not develop our country because they have to be concerned about the welfare of a few million Papuan villagers, foreign investment will dry up. And who wants that to happen? Certainly not our politicians.

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