Captions: Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture’s Dr Grant Batterham making a presentation during the dialogue in Parliament on Wednesday.
PANGU Pati successfully opened interactive dialogue on deep-sea tailings disposal in Parliament.
The ministers include Commerce and Industry’s Wera Mori, Correctional Services’ Roy Biyama, Mining’s Johnson Tuke and Communications, Information Technology and Energy’s Samuel Basil.
The dialogue was told about the Ramu Nickle mine’s Basamuk experience in Madang’s Rai Coast and implications on Morobe’s Huon Gulf from the proposed Wafi-Golpu gold-copper mine.
Basamuk is where the mine’s toxic waste is dumped into the ocean.
The Wafi-Golpu mine is set to start operation in three years’ time.
Mr Tuke urged fellow MPs to participate in such forums to learn and be familiar with issues affecting their people who have limited access.
He said doing so would help them address misunderstanding of issues among the affected and resource owners.
Mr Basil said it provided a platform for fellow MPs, academics, experts from the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture and key stakeholders to ensure their participation and contribution would assist drive proper policies and agreements on benefit-sharing.
Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu said before the mine operation, he would push for concerns of his people who live within mine tailings placement areas as a matter of priority to ensure minimum allowable pollutants are dumped into the river systems, less harm to marine life and maximum benefit-sharing for them.
“Everything should be put on the table for everyone’s benefit. It is their resources,” he said.
Mr Saonu said fairness, honesty and best business practices should take centre stage during the negotiations.
He said he would ensure there was a sustainable environment for the future generation without the tailings causing major harm to the marine biodiversity.
Mr Saonu said he would host a similar forum in Morobe Province to gauge views of the people likely to be affected by the toxic waste from the mine.