Porgera locals want review of deal

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 23rd April 2013

 PORGERA mine landowners in Enga have called on the government and the miner to explain the prolonged delay in reviewing the mining agreement.

They are concerned that many outstanding land and environmental issues needed to be resolved.

Porgera Landowner Association chairman Mark Tony Ekepa said they were affected by outstanding issues such as tailings disposal, environment damages, industrial risk accident and injuries and local workers employment conditions.

“The Porgera mine agreement should also cater for infrastructure development programmes, local business spin-offs and balance distributions of wealth creation but that have all been denied under the pretext of delaying the mine review,” he said.

“The review exercise is the only option for check and balance that will examine adequate and accurate process for the stakeholders’ bene­fits, including the landowners’ welfare since 1989.” 

He said the state through its agencies, were not complying with the conditions of the mining agreement.

“We want the state through the Department of Mining and the Mi­neral Resource Autho­rity to furnish full benefit programmes on issues raised.

“The state through Mineral Resource Authority and departments like Mining, Treasury, Finance, National Planning and provincial and local level governments should consider and take effect the release of our benefits packages,” Ekepa said.

He said these inclu­ded:

l Off load additional share value from state to landowner; 

l Free carry on landowner’s equity;

l Special support grants funds to be accessed directly between Department of National Planning and Porgera Development Authority fixed amount from years since; for district priority infrastructure development projects; and

l Tax credit schemes, programme funds to be tied direct to identified programmes.