The National, Tuesday July 30th, 2013
I AM asking the concerned authorities to investigate if the gold mining operation said to be underway along the Toresseli ranges of East Sepik is legal in nature.
The developers seem to be rushing ahead without conducting proper awareness which is supposed to include government agencies as per the normal procedure before fullscale operation takes place.
It is understood the mining area will cover Kobaibus Village in West Yangoru LLG all the way to Yamil Village on the Maprik side along the Toresseli ranges.
I have heard that there are only three expatriates on the ground supervising locals doing the clearing and I am suspicious of their presence which seems to be without the involvement of the provincial or national government.
Furthermore, landowners there do not seem to care and are rushing to have the mining start without bothering to verify if the developer is genuine.
They are also not aware of the long-term damage this proposed mining will bring and all the negative effects associated with it.
Most of them, if not all, seem to be only interested in the promised royalties.
I am asking that the local MPs, the provincial government and concerned authorities to investigate the project.
If the activity is genuine, allow it to go ahead but with proper procedures.
This particular part of the Toresseli ranges is known for its heavy gold deposits that were first discovered before World War II and all proper legal procedures must be followed by any developer.
Landowners should also stop the mentality of thinking only about royalties and ask the developer to initiate some long-term projects that will continue to sustain their livelihoods after mining ceases.
I also oppose any mining explorations along that range as we already have cocoa farming.
Cocoa farming has been proven as a good income earner.
We also do not want any destruction of our forests.
Tobanuim, Via email