By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
ENVIRONMENT Conversation and Climate Change Minister Wera Mori says he is now required by law to grant the “approval in principle” for the environmental permit to Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV).
Mori said the Environment Council accepted on Sept 10 2020, the environment impact statement (EIS) for Wafi-Golpu project and recommended to him as Minister to grant an approval in principle to developer WGJV.
He said this was a result of several requirements and processes that were fulfilled by the joint venture for the Wafi-Golpu copper/gold project in Morobe.
Speaking during the presentation of the Wafi-Golpu deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) on Tuesday in Port Moresby, Mori said the project’s EIS was submitted on June 25, 2018, which went through an assessment process.
“Referrals of the EIS for review and comments were made on Aug 13, 2018,” he said.
Three independent peer review teams were appointed and engaged on Sept 9, 2018 which were:
- A TEAM from British Geological Survey reviewed the marine component of the proposed deep sea tailings placement covered by the EIS;
- ERIAS team from Australia separately reviewed the terrestrial environment component of the EIS; and,
- A COMBINED PNG University of Technology and University of PNG independently reviewed the EIS.
Mori said public hearings, consultations and a roadshow on the EIS had been conducted since Nov 19, 2018.
“This process carried on from Nov 20-18 to 2020, of which the last consultation was held in Port Moresby on Tuesday Sept 8, 2020.
“The WGJV met all requirements by submitting EIR (environmental impact report) and EIS to Cepa (Conservation and Environment Protection Authority) for assessment and approvals.
“Both the EIR and EIS have undergone the assessment process and submissions were made to the Environment Council (EC) of PNG on Aug 31, 2020, for considerations.
“The submissions made recommendations for approval in principle to be considered by the designated Minister for Environment and Conservation and Climate Change.
“The EC met on Aug 31 to Sept 10 to deliberate EIS for WGJV.”
Mori said the Environment Council was satisfied that the proposed DSTP system had met all the criteria of the draft PNG DSTP guidelines and the proponent has submitted credible information and data.