By STARZA PAUL
Member for Bulolo Sam Basil has condemned the shutdown of the K5 billion Wafi-Golpu Project site by outsiders calling themselves landowner executives recently.
“The threats and subsequent shutdown forced by the so-called Wafi-Golpu Landowners Association chairman Holmes Kissing and self styled Hengabu chairman John Nema are illegal,” said Mr Basil.
“Mr Kissing and Mr Nema are not signatories to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). And if they had any legitimate issues, they should be talking to the signatories of the MOA as part of the permitting process – instead of this illegal shutdown action,” he said.
The signatories of the MOA includes the State, the Morobe Provincial Government, Bulolo District’s Mumeng Local Level Government (LLG) and the duly elected Yanta and Hengabu landowners executives, and the Huon Gulf District’s Wampar LLG and the duly elected Babuaf landowners executives.
Mr Basil, who is Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy and Trustee Delegate of Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited and Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited, said that the legitimate landowners executives of Yanta, Hengabu and Babuaf know what is required of them in the permitting process and the various authorities they need to interact with.
“They are aware that within the SML are the ore body landowners and the processing plant site landowners in Bulolo and Huon Gulf.
“And the landowners of Yanta and Hengabu – as well as Babuafs – are very much aware that the ore body is valueless unless it is extracted, processed, shipped and sold.
“The need to accommodate the pipeline landowners extending to those on the shores descending into the submarine discharge of tailings need to be worked out through the MOA permitting process,” he added.
“Legitimate concerns need to be brought and addressed in the established legal processes,” Mr Basil said.
“The proper way to address contents in the MOU signed between the State and the developer is to inform and populate the MOA (before it is signed) so the State as well as the developer are made aware before signing the Mining Development Contract and the Mining Compensation Agreement.”
Mr Basil officially opened the Bulolo Stalkholders Forum on Wafi Golpu Mining Project in Lae last week aimed at consolidating Bulolo position paper as the official position paper accommodating all stakeholders from landowners and their Mumeng LLG to Bulolo DDA and other LLGs including the private sector.
“All landowners are important. The challenge we have is to ensure that we honestly and fairly grade the benefits to each of these landowner groups accordingly,” Mr Basil said.
“It is also important to recognise those who have helped with resources on or in their land in the past, to reward current landowners appropriately, and to prepare for the future when resources may be discovered and developed in other landowners,” he said.