By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
A SUBMISSION to Cabinet is being prepared for funding to clean up the abandoned Sinivit gold mine in East New Britain, according Environment, Conservation and Climate Change Minister Wera Mori.
He told The National that the cost of the clean-up would be about K9 million.
“We need to clean up the abandoned mine as there is a large amount of toxic waste still sitting there,” he said. The New Guinea Gold Limited abandoned the gold project in September 2014 after blaming the Government and the Mineral Resources Authority “for not quickly renewing the mining lease”.
The Conservation, Environment and Protection Authority (Cepa) said the State was liable for any environment damage on the Sinivit gold mine site because the mining lease had been cancelled.
The funding will be used for the:
- SAMPLING of water, soil, biota and river sedimentation on the mine site and downstream Warangoi catchment;
- DETOXIFICATION of chemical contaminations and the clean-up of mine debris on site;
- REHABILITATION of the site; and,
- COMPILATION of environment impact assessment report.
Mori had earlier said a company would be engaged to clean-up by removing heap leach systems and non-renewable vats on site, and a clean-up and removal of chemicals.
Landowner issues, outstanding royalties and compensation for environment damage are to be negotiated and settled with State agencies according to regulations.
The company started gold and silver production in August 2007 and stopped production at the end of June 2012.