MAC: Mines and Communities

Miners wary of department edict

Published by MAC on 2005-10-24

Miners wary of department edict


24 October 05

THE Department of Mining's capacity may have been compromised due to inappropriate budgetary support and manpower ceiling over the years. And it may continue to rely on foreign aid if the industry is to carry out its policing jobs effectively and sometimes may lead to being told what to do by the industry.

Highly placed mining industry insiders said stakeholders with the support of foreign consultants had asked for an indefinite exploration permit from the Government of Papua New Guinea but quick action by certain officers in the Department of Mining made the industry to agree to a five-year term for exploration activities in the country.

Discussions are underway between stakeholders on the extension of exploration term from two to five years.

Insiders said the request for lengthy exploration activities by the industry was intended to keep landowners out of the decision making process during renewals.

They said foreign advisers considered any landowner objections as an affront to the smooth operation of the industry.

"Industry argument regarding time for mobilisation and actual work, though relevant, is not the primary issue as the renewal process, which includes transitional arrangements between renewal application and determination, which safeguards the desired security of tenure," the insiders said of an argument by the industry recently.

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