27 Mar 2007

Emperor Gold Mines says study into PNG has no credibility

8:22 am on 27 March 2007

Emperor Gold Mines claims a PNG provincial government-commissioned study into the health impact of its Tolukuma mine has no credibility.

The study reportedly found that high levels of toxic metals are found in the blood samples of people living along local rivers where Emperor dumps the tailings from its Tolukuma operations.

The Central province government commissioned the study conducted by Dr Sylvester Kotapu who says that locals are at risk of cancer, deformities, infertility and various illnesses.

An Emperor Mines spokesman, Patrick Bindon, says Dr Kotapu's claims that he is a senior pathologist at two Australian hospitals have proved to be bogus, and the study itself is also questionable.

"The people listed: a number of them have provided statutory declarations to the company - after being contacted - that confirmed that, firstly, they don't know who Kotapu is; secondly, they've not been blood-tested by Kotapu or anyone else for the purpose of this study; and thirdly, they've not provided any permission for their names to be used or associated with this process at all."

Patrick Bindon of Emperor Mines Ltd.