Wafi releases over 50 workers due to delay


THE Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) has had to release more than 50 employees this month because of a delay in permitting the proposed project.
A total of 57 employees from various departments had been identified through a redundancy programme for this month, August and September.
They were made redundant on July 8.
The WGJV management said to recent circumstances in the country had resulted in a delay in permitting the Wafi-Golpu project.
“This includes delay associated with discussions between the Government and the Morobe government regarding the project, which is the subject of current legal proceedings between them,” the management said.
“Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture has in turn delayed the planned work programme it had hoped to commence this year.
“This has necessitated the downsizing of the workforce.
“On Dec 11, 2018 the State signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with developers Newcrest and Harmony Gold to continue working towards commencement of the actual project.
“The objections to the MoU by the Morobe government culminated in an application for judicial review of the MoU brought by Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu, against the Minister for Mining, the State and the WGJV,” the management said.
“This resulted in a stay granted by the National Court in Lae on May 7, 2019.”
The WGJV management said the increase in the size of its workforce in recent months was in expectation of the beginning of its advanced activities programme early in the second half of 2019, in anticipation of the targeted grant of the special mining lease by June 30, 2019 or shortly thereafter. “Given the delay and the need to revise the work programme accordingly, the workforce will need to be scaled back until the permitting process is completed,” the management said.
“We are working to re-deploy employees where possible.”
The miner said it understood families would be affected by the downsizing and had ensured under its human resource policies that employees were provided the support including work undertaken by Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture to potentially redeploy employees where possible to Harmony and Newcrest sites.