27 Mar 2009

Landowners force closure of East New Britain mine in PNG

4:36 pm on 27 March 2009

Landowners have forced the temporary closure of mining activities at the Wild Dog gold mine in the East New Britain Province.

The Nakama Enterprise Limited landowners walked onto the mine site this week after earlier notifying the East New Britain administration, Governor's Office, police, local councillors and the mine site manager of their intention to protest peacefully.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that the group of principal landowners of the mine site, requested a round-table discussion for the developer, Australian-based New Guinea Gold Limited, to hear their demands.

They are demanding New Guinea Gold Limited pay them compensation of over 500 million US dollars for 21 years of operation.

This is primarily for royalties for the landowners, damage to the forest and alleged unauthorised land use for mining operations.

The same condition includes various infrastructure development needs in the area and subsidies for local children's school fees.

The landowners are also demanding a proper investigation into the alleged misappropriation of spin-off funds from the mine for their personal gain and not for the Rieit community as a whole.