By HELEN TARAWA
PRIME Minister James Marape told Parliament yesterday that the decision on the future of the Porgera mine will be made by the National Executive Council and stakeholders.
Responding to Eastern Highlands Governor Peter Numu on the question of Porgera and Kainantu mines, Marape said the mine lease had expired on Aug 16.
Marape said the operators had submitted their expression of interest to renew the lease but this was subject to discussions and negotiations.
“We are giving best consideration. Legally, the lease had expired but because they have been operating the mine and have expressed their interest to renew the lease, we have allowed them to continue until the Government takes a stand as far as the future of that operation is concerned,” he said.
“We are mindful of the many legacy issues that are currently prevalent on the ground in Porgera.
“I am mindful of the environmental damage in Porgera and the footprints of the effects of the mine operations as well as legacy issues like resettlement.
“Those issues, if satisfied or otherwise, will be a major playing factor in as far as our final decision as to whether we renew their lease or not.
“Since then, there have been serious matters of discussions with various stakeholders, more importantly, the landowners and the provincial government.”
Marape said there were two choices – either the mine lease gets renewed or terminated and a new arrangement put in place for the Porgera mine.
“When we cross over to 2020, the future of the Porgera mine will be decided by cabinet and Government in consultation with key stakeholders, landowners and provincial the government.”
By HELEN TARAWA