MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Papua New Guinea update

Published by MAC on 2006-11-20

Papua New Guinea update

20th November 2006

Two Papua New Guineans have expressed strong doubts that commercial mining can answer the needs of the country's citizens to preserve their environment and return profits to the people.

Mining not welcome on New Hanover

Letter to the Editor, Postcourier, Papua New Guinea

20th November 2006

A proposal for the mining of gold is being pushed on New Hanover Island in the New Ireland Province. It is the work of greedy individuals keen on destroying the fragile environment in their quest for money. We'll all be fools on our own land when multi-billion-dollar mining companies and the state start to ship the finished gold bars and revenues out under our very noses.

Under the guise of a Lovongai Integrated Economic Development Plan and supposedly armed with the cloak of electoral legitimacy, local level politicians are adamant on the realisation of mining on the island. Whose interests do these leaders represent? They obviously haven't learnt their lesson. In the late 1980s during the gold prospecting on New Hanover serious signs of the conspiracy to pilfer and ship rich high grade mineral samples out of the island without the consent and knowledge of the people of the island were detected.

The subsequent halting of prospecting in Kuliuta inland of Tiaputuk was based on the locals suspicion of the motives of these prospectors. Where is the justice when our pristine environment is compromised by leaders? More so, resorting to mining only reflects the failure and weakness of political leadership in considering sustainable development and investment in the human resources.

Mining creates a "short-cut mindset" to development because it is pushed by perennial get-rich-quick activists. There is every reason to be conscious of its divisive aspect on the clan arrangements of the island. Patrick Kaiku Meteran village South Lovongai, NIP

Alluvial gold mining in Kaintiba

The National

20th November 2006


WITH the gold price averaging US$622 (K1,943) per ounce, Kamea-language speaking people in the Gulf province have been urged to seriously consider going into alluvial gold mining.

Sam Wenive, chairman of the Kamea Land Resources Association, said with the rise in the price of gold, there was no better time for the people to go into serious alluvial mining than today.

"The rise in the price for gold makes it attractive for the local resource owners to be serious in alluvial gold mining," Mr Wenive said in Port Moresby yesterday.

He said while the Government continued to review the fiscal regime on mining industry to make it attractive for foreign investors, local resource owners should take advantage of the current world gold prices.

Mr Wenive recently bought a water pump and gave it to the alluvial miners in the Putie area of Kaintiba district to help them find gold.

"We've started with only one pump to help the miners," he said.

"In the absence of Government help, we have to organise ourselves and develop our natural resources by ourselves," Mr Wenive said.

"People need to look in their rivers and mountains for alluvial gold and take advantage of the high gold prices now."

He said alluvial mining could bring about benefits, including:

lHelping rural eco-nomies with direct cash income from gold sold;

lCreating more jobs and business opportunities for the local people;

lGenerating more money for the people to pay for goods and services, including school fees and medical expenses; and

lContributing to Papua New Guinea's revenue

Mr Wenive said people did not have to wait for foreign companies to mine their gold. All they had to do is use simple mining techniques such as sluicing and panning, Mr Wineve said.

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