State to move on project

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THE Government wants to end the stalemate in talks over a waste disposal system for the K18 billion (US$5.4 billion) Wafi-Golpu gold-copper project, according to Environment, Conservation and Climate Change Minister Wera Mori.
He told The National yesterday he was going to sign an “approval in principle” for the environment permit to allow the project developers use the deep sea tailing placement (DSTP) “without any further delay”.
The Morobe government and landowners have strongly opposed the DSTP method and prefer to use an on-land dam system to store mine waste.
Mori said the Government was tired of waiting for the Morobe government and landowners to make up their minds.
“We will go ahead. I am ready to sign,” he said.
The Morobe government and landowners met in Lae last week and resolved to reject the DSTP method which the Government favours.
Governor Ginson Saonu said there was an alternative to the DSTP which should be considered.
“The people of Morobe have spoken saying yes to Wafi-Golpu and no to DSTP,” he said.
“To propose a submarine deep sea tailing in Huon Gulf Sea must be prohibited (as) it is unethical and improper.”
Saonu said submarine tailing was prohibited in international gold mining principles and standards which project developers Newcrest Mining Ltd and Harmony Gold Mining Ltd knew about and must abide by.
“Wafi-Golpu mine must be subject to international best practice and principles of which Newcrest and Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd are members,” Saonu said.
Mori yesterday said the provincial government was supposed to make a submission but only wrote a letter to Marape.
“They did not make a submission. They only wrote a letter to the Prime Minister. Their approach is wrong,” he said.
“All statutory requirements have been complied with or met. We can’t make exceptions. We’ve asked them for a submission but they (instead) wrote a letter.”
Mori said the Environment Council accepted on Sept 10 the environment impact statement for the Wafi-Golpu project and recommended to him to grant an approval in principle to develop the project.
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.
Some of the country’s mines such as the Misima gold mine (Milne Bay), Lihir gold mine (New Ireland), Simberi gold mine (New Ireland) and Ramu nickel mine use the DSTP method and have not reported any negative impact on marine life or the environment.


  • The Morobe Provincial government and its people have already decided they are against DSTP and you cant sign the approval in principle for the environment permit. There will be nothing different in the submission that you crying for – it will still say “No to DSTP” – Hidden Valley have constructed a Tailings Dam and is situated in the same geographical location as Wafi-Golpu so what’s wrong with respecting and upholding the people’s wishes? Bai you harim husat??

    • I hope this is not a begining of another Bougainville crisis…. When peoples concerns are disregarded because of the stupidity of the Minister responsible to push the project through. Remember, when people’s voices are suppressed, then can violence erupt. That is what lead to the Bougainvill civil conflict and now they a demanding a breakaway from PNG.

  • Mr Mori CEPA and Environment department has failed at Lihir. Mr Mori Lihirians are still waiting for an Environmental survey conducted by ISO140001 Environmental specialist and Environmental Marine Biologists to be organized by you. You have no credible data to support your statement that Lihir and Simberi is safe.

    Do you know that the tidal current has pushed the sediments and destroyed the fishing reefs all the way to Tanga Island? Please stop looking at one sided comment from Newcrest and you are trying to say DSTP at Lihir is safe. Your CEPA or Environment Rep here at Lihir does nothing but only collects the monthly raw water usage to see if the company over exceeds its water usage. We have been asking the Government to conduct Environmental Marine survey for 20years now since first gold bar was poured no Environmental marine survey conduct to assess the impact or destruction of marine fauna, flora and reefs.

    Mr Mori you come to Putput and Kapit no more reef fish, the children our next generation dont know how to fish using traditional methods. How can you come out on Newspaper and say DSTP is safe at Lihir where is your Environmental Marine survey conduct by ISO140001 Certified Auditor?

    Mr Mori you and your advisors have failed you are still being given a lollipop by Newcrest to use the Huon Gulf as your rubbish dump.

    Mr Mori and PMJM you are not taking back PNG you have been held at ransom(Money vs Environment and People) by Newcrest to approve DSTP.

  • Minister you approvim but pipe bai ol putim antanp lo graun blo you na National Government na ron kam go insait lo solwara. Yu wanpla longlong Minister or I should say puppet. It clearly shows that as a Minister for environment and conservation, you don’t have standings but to be a fool of those who put pressure on you to sign the approval of DSTP. Blary puppet Minister.

  • Have we not learnt the hard lessons from Bougainville and OTML – a civil war and widespread environmental destruction.
    A call to Morobe to take up arms to put a stop to this project from proceeding – we do not need it – period….

  • One of those idiots who has no concern for the future of the Nation. It is sad for a minister to make such a statement. He should be the one ensuring our environment is protected and landowners rights are prioritized. I’m afraid if this recent amended mining act may bulldozed the process leaving land owners behind.

  • There must be another MOU that must also be signed together, by Newcrest and the Government, where Newcrest and other developers/investors must be solely held responsible to pay compensation to the surrounding inhabitants of the waste disposal area, if any damage negatively affects the environment and well being of the people, as a result of DSTP.

  • HATIM BEL YAH! Moni kam long kainkain mining na ino improvim living standard na conditions blo ol ples man ya…PASIM DISPELA MINE!!

  • Clearly, Wera Mori and the government is up to something… I am subspecies that they want to fast track it so that they can get their share before next elections.

  • Minister Mori, you are not fit to be a Minister any more. At the end of a 2 days forum in Lae last week, you said no DSTP. The deadline for the land tailings submission is today 30/10/20, yet you are making an early announcement.

    Morobe people will throw Pangu out next election if you are not careful. How will you put DSTP pipeline through customary land in Morobe. U longlong pinis.

    How much did the investors pay you to make that announcement? They are foreigners & you, olsem u nogat graun ya.

    What did you do with K10MILLION for Simbu Limestone project. Another K2MILLION for the social mapping of the same project.

    Wera Mori, you have to resign as Minister if you have no respect for the people of Morobe. They hold the power base for Pangu in the next election. PMJM must not be misled. The consequences are too big.

  • Mr Mori, as the Minister for Environment, you are the mandated custodian of PNG’s natural environment. It is irrational for you to push hard for DSTP, which will no doubt cause environmental damage to marine life and affect the livelihood of the coastal communities. Please resign as you are not capable of holding this ministry. I bet you would not have pushed hard for DSTP if you are from the coastal regions of Morobe. Seems like you are only interested in skimming off your share of the icing on the cake.

  • Its a sad new for us the Morobe people. Don’t forget Morobe people are blessed with resources which includes non and renewable resources. Such decision will have an effect of future projects decision making in the province. I recommend we review the decision and come up with a tangible decision in the best interest of all stakeholders.

  • The people and Morobe provincial government have eloquently stated their position in explicit terms and unanimously opposed the DSTP. Wera Mori, let you be put on notice, you DON’T AND I repeat, you DON’T own this country. Just because you are state Minister, it doesn’t in any way shape or form, imparts you the autonomy in audacity take an unilateral stand against the aspiration of the people.

    Don’t ever think you know better than the people. There are people, their acumen is above mediocrity and know far better than you do. You are a arrogant person, so blatant that after heard and received the objection from the people, went away only to remain adamant.

    By being the Minister, doesn’t make you a person of impeccability. I implore with you, listen to the wishes of the people. Not the investor. We had the civil crisis in the North Solomon province because of Government never listened to the people who are the keepers of the land. With Porgera, Ramu, Frida, OK Tedi, PNG LNG and now Wafi Goplu, it is a time bomb any moment anything can happen and we might have second Bougainville crisis on our hands.

    With the extractive industry, people must be consulted at all cost. Their views must be accommodated regardless. the land, rivers, sea, mountains, belong to the people. Anything on the surface or below belong to the people. Don’t use the foreign law to alienate the owners of the land.

    Government doesn’t have ancestral history (tubuna) but people do. Colonisers came and declared the continent of Australia “TERRA NULLIUS” meaning nobody’s land. late Mabbo fought a vigorous court battle and came out victorious in a Caucasian dominated court system. Through the court, government, in the finality, restored the land title back to the first nation of Australia.

    Government asking the people to listen to the government, government has no ancestral ownership to the land including anything on the land or beneath, belongs to the people. people have inherited through their ancestral lineage. Land and sea is everything to the people and it their livelihood. people live of the land and they have a strong attachment to the land.

    The nature of behaviour demonstrated by Wera Mori is the recipe for disaster waiting to created another Bougainvile. Don’t listen to aliens who have economic interest and not the welfare of the resource owners from whom they come extract their resource under their feet.

  • Stand up the people and fight for your right, it is evident they will do just about anything and everything to get their way without considering the locals on the ground.

    Don’t give in, fight until your plight is realized.

  • This is an unacceptable move and statement by the fat minister. You can’t hold a people at random just because they want or demand an outcome which is best for them and their children. How dare he wants to go on and put his signature on the papaer.? Why is he in a hurry? Looks like he expecting some pocket money from someone. People of Morobe, please stay strong. He comes from a place full of limestone and doesn’t know anything about the ocean and how people’s life depend on the sea. The land is yours. The power is with you. Keep the roads and access to the mines shut until the government is convinced to abandon the idea of deep sea tailings. We need to see and learn from Madang and Lihir. Enough of corruption. This stupid government throws slogans such as ‘Take PNG back’ or to make of PNG the ‘Richest black Christian nation on earth’ and yet they don’t care about the people and the nation. This is all mauswara propaganda. They are a bunch of vultures, hungry for easy and fast money. Look at how far this mining minister is….such a disgrace. It’s a sign that he seems to live a good life with the brown envelopes he receives from under the tables.

  • The Minister said he’s ready to sign, that is, he is yet to sign. It is a call to e Morobe provincial government to play their part in providing proper submission. We don’t quickly jump to comment

  • How sure are you of your statement Mr Minister…?

    “Some of the country’s mines such as the Misima gold mine (Milne Bay), Lihir gold mine (New Ireland), Simberi gold mine (New Ireland) and Ramu nickel mine use the DSTP method and have not reported any negative impact on marine life or the environment.”

    That has to be the most lamest statement ever. Have you ever been to these places to see for yourself and prove there are no negavtive impact on the marine life or the environment? Or was there any survey conducted at all to back up your statement? would be interested to read about.


  • Ronim paip go a tap long ples blo you.You can approve the DSTP pipe but won’t see it after you die.Noken bagarapim solwara blo mipla ol nambis..

  • I’ve got to say now that we’ve taken back PNG and put it on the wrong path..a path to destruction…as for being the richest black Christian Nation, that was a wish dream of an infant , first time PM… enough said… for Minister, Wera Mori, he is a brief case carrier, full stop, at best.

  • If Countries like Singapore and Fiji can economically and politically developed based only on Agriculture and tourism than why is PNG far behind interms of development? PNG have LNG and plenty minning operation plus Agriculture and tourism sectors also generate sufficient money for our local economy but yet we are struggling. Corruption is destroying our country pretty badly

  • Where are the big boys like Greenpeace or WWF when you need them.
    I wrote to them in 1990s before Lihir mine was approved asking for monitoring stations around the island zones and the establishment of base line data pre-mining.
    I have pictures here of the beach by the Holy Rock which says ‘This is a wild life reserve- do not enter!’ That beach has been covered by rock for 20 years since I took the photo. Not even a courteous reply. save the Orangutans by all means but with these DSTP mines even for Woodlark in pristine Milne Bay waters we are talking about the lives of humans being impacted for 30 or more years.
    Government OF the People, FOR the people, BY THE PEOPLE

  • Morobe people have their God given rights over the land and the resources, and they have spoken. It is an absolute NO to DSTP.

    Marape and Mori don’t own this country. This country and it’s resources are the Creator’s blessing to the people on the ground.

    If you stand behind the greedy investors for money and betray the people, and destroy the environment, watch out! God’s judgement will be upon those responsible.

  • Check Minister Mori he could have been bribed by the investor to put pen to paper. Tell us where in the world have mining companies being successfully disposing their tailing with this DSTP method. We are witnessing failed decisions from 30 years ago regarding unfair distribution of benefits at the expense of the people.Here you are trying to do the same and that the future generation will suffer.Stop this nonsense and do what the prople are asking for.You won’t be around tbese affected areas so just listen to the people’s cry.

  • PNG IS TOO RICH YET TOO POOR! What a PITY. Our leaders should be ashamed and lock themselves behind closed doors. Wera Mori you are a total Jerk!

  • Minister, you are talking like as if there is no tomorrow. The undertable deals that are pressurizing you to sign the MOA won’t benefit the nation but will definitely bring chaos. Think twice, LEADER.

  • The Government can move in and do what ever they can only when Landowners allow them and agree on good terms and conditions. That is their land and when they say no,thats final.No more talks. PM and Mininster Mori already pressure for something.Land owners please sign proper agreement before mine to operate.Stand on your word.Yu kamap PM na memba doesn’t mean you own everything and can do anything you want to do in this country.Really tired of hearing nonsense and all the stupid talks.

  • I think we the people of Morobe must close this Wafi Golpu as it will be no benefit to us and the people of PNG as lot of mining here in PNG and still no development in most towns/provinces. Roads are all eating up by corruption. Take back PNG must done to all mine first and we see changes then after 10 years we open this Wafi Golpu. This cover page of take back PNG cannot fool us to open this Wafi Golpu.

    Close this Wafi Golpu deal.

  • An educated elite minister for environment and conservation seems to be functionally illiterate. Can’t read into environmental laws that guides, protects and preserve vulnerable pristine sea life. Can’t make an educated decision based on the wishes of the people and their Provincial government? They have spoken. What more do you want? Another Bougainville type crisis? This type of arrogance, greed and indecision for the good and in favor of resource developers has push us to think beyond the unthinkable to breaking this country into pieces. It has happened and minister don not under estimate the people wish for NO TAILINGS IN THE OPEN SEA. They provided you the alternative for a tailing on the land they willing to provide the land. Isn’t this the decision and people’s wish? This is their decision whatever consequences later. My advice is that you go along with your people. Don’t play powerful right now as is the case. The advise you getting from the developer is questionable and highly suspicious. If it’s expensive to build the land tailings so be it. STOP issuing the environment permit until they meet the land tailings requirements.

  • People of Morobe, stand up for your future generations.
    Do not let a few fat pigs ruin the future of your children.

  • It’s good to say that but where is your proof that Wafi can safely build a tailing dam?

    If you say no to DSTP then where is your scientific analysis reports?

    The national government has been waiting for Morobe provincial government and the people the castle to do a scientific submission on which telling is the best method depending on the geographic location of Wafi and not Hidden Valley.

    Wafi is a block cave mining and Hidden Valley is open-cut mining.

    This is two different methods of mining.

  • A nation is divided when the fathers (leaders) don’t have vision. Money when it is loved becomes root of evil. Any leader if lured by money can not stand for the people or nation.

    Look at Dubai for example, they build out of sand and sea. Before the oil runs out they attract tourist from around the globe, why? Because of Shakes Mohammed’s vision. They don’t depend on oil alone, tourism is also generating income.

    Look at Fiji and the Bahamas, they depend on tourism. Papua New Guinea you name it, from tourism, agriculture, mining and so, right from the coasts to the inlands and to the highlands is blessed, but theres one thing that is absent, vision. The leaders depend on mining at a larger portion of the scale to generate income.

    Minister Wera Mori, you sound contradicting, looks like you don’t have fear in your heart. DSTP and Wafi Golpu is the Goliath, we people is the nation, you and PM and other members of the parliament is David. Will you safe us or safe Goliath?

  • I am saddened to see a leader speaking without thinking about his people’s future. He speaks because he received an offering from the mining to run his campaign for 22. You are the leader not Not the boss. Don’t tell us what to do but lead us as Moses did with the children of Israel.

  • Minister Mori, why rush. Technocrats like you should better understand the adverse side effects of DSTP. Or are you up to something of you own interest?

  • 17th June 2020 – Need for more awareness: Mori…

    “It is important that we protect our marine biodiversity and coral reefs as they are so significant,”

    “Our coral reef is in danger,”

    “So all of us have a duty to make sure we protect coral reef systems in Papua New Guinea.”

    Ring a bell Mr Minister Mori? Please stop contradicting yourself and do your duty as well and help to protect our reefs!

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