Tuke: Issues need to be sorted

Business

By CLARISSA MOI
THE Porgera gold mine in Enga has pending legacy issues that need to be sorted before processing the special mining lease (SML), says Mining Minister Johnson Tuke.
He said yesterday the warden hearing of the Porgera mine on Tuesday, led by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), was a process to understand the concerns of legitimate resource owners and not to determine benefits.
Tuke said that was a process that MRA had to comply with as the mining regulating authority.
“Therefore, we have to conduct a warden hearing at an appropriate time so that we can understand the conditions of the legitimate resource owners,” he said.
MRA managing director Jerry Garry said that the purpose of conducting a warden hearing was to provide opportunities for developers to explain their proposals for mining and other related activities.
He said warden hearings also provided opportunities for wardens to record and assess views of landowners, with regards to proposals made by developers.
Meanwhile, Tuke said in few weeks’ time, he would present a paper to the National Executive Council to determine a State negotiating team (SNT) to take full carriage of Porgera.
“The SNT will be able to determine new terms as Porgera is a historical mine,” he said.
“We need to understand that the company has some legacy issues that re still pending that we need to dissolve.
“We need to understand and attend to them all before we start processing the SML.”
Tuke said that also applied to the Ramu nickel mine in Madang.
“They (Ramu NiCo) have submitted their papers for expansion, but again, it will be on a new term sheet,” he said.
“A memorandum-of-agreement (MoA) process will capture the provincial government, the landowners and other elements.
“When it comes to compensation agreement, it is strictly between resource owners and the company.
“The last meeting the company initiated was for compensation alone, and should not be seen as an MoA.”

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