1 Nov 2007

PNG's Kokoda landowners warned about impacts of mining

2:15 pm on 1 November 2007

A local level government leader in Papua New Guinea has warned landowners of the negative impacts of mining in the famous Kokoda Track area.

Part of the Kokoda Track is set to be rerouted when a landowner-endorsed exploration company, Frontier Resources, begins mining the Kodu area on Mount Bini in Central province.

But Pacific Magazine reports the local level government president Ori Kenia as saying mining activities would destroy the historical track and its surrounding environment.

He says money made from trekkers who walked the track had long-term benefits and was more environment-friendly unlike mining.

PNG's Vice Minister of Mining and Central Governor have both given assurance that they would not stop landowners' plans to have their area mined.

However Mr Kenia says that while mining activities will last for 10 years, tourism activities could last forever.

Close to 4000 Australians walked the Kokoda track last year and indirectly contributed millions of dollars to the PNG economy.