Student wins K500 in logo competition

National, Normal


MINISTER for Mining John Pundari is adamant that all the necessary progress has to be followed before renewing the expired exploration licence 1093 or any mine development negotiation for the Mt Kare gold prospect in Enga.
Pundari said he could not be pressured as to fast track the renewal of the EL1093, which was expired in August 2002.
Responding to media reports by Eddie Yuwi, who claimed to represent Tari faction of Mt Kare and urging him for glossy press statement, the minister said the landowners had to respect the process.
“The warden hearing and negotiating or screening of any application for mine tenement take vigorous time for screening and it’s a long process,” Pundari told The National yesterday.
“The landowners have to respect the due process.”
He said what the government did not want to see was repeating of renewing  EL1093 and never for the last 23 years being recommended for full-scale mine development.
He also brushed aside allegation that he had personal interest.
“The landowners must know that I want to ensure everything is done for their own benefit and for the interest of the nation.
“I don’t have any personal interest in the EL1093 or the Mt Kare gold prospect issue.
“All I want as the minister responsible for mines and as person coming from where the mine prospect area is to see everything done for the best interest of all the landowners back at home so that they can reap maximum benefit for the decision we make,” Pundari stressed his position earlier in an interview with The National.
Anginape Mapia Ipusa Development Corporation, a landowner company from the Enga side of Mt Kare and Johnson Nokove, who claimed to represent Hetaputa Marru Ltd from Tari, said they would like to see all landowners and the minister sit together and address the outstanding issues in order to develop the mine.
“All the landowner are united and it’s only that the minister has to make the final decision as per our recommendations for a developer,” Mapia said.
It is understood that an Australian joint venture company; Union Pacific/Kingsagate Joint Venture is the favourite developer that the landowners wanted.
Meanwhile, a European developer who has followed the Mt Kare gold prospect had shown interest in developing the project and wished that the minister does not renew the EL1093 licence.
The company spokesperson, who requested for anonymity called The National from Australia said his company was looking at developing the project into a full-scale mine.