8 May 2009

Porgera mine area landowners need relocating, says Enga Governor

7:07 am on 8 May 2009

The Governor of PNG's Enga Province says that having people living within the Special Mining Lease, or SML, area of the Porgera mine will continue to cause problems unless they are relocated.

This comes after police burnt down what they say were around 50 illegal shacks within the SML area as part of an ongoing operation to counter Porgera's recent upsurge in crime, particularly illegal mining.

However a group of local landowners say 300 legitimate homes were destroyed in the operation and are taking legal action against the state.

The Governor, Peter Ipatas, says that at most mines, the SML area is only occupied by the mine operators...

"But in Porgera they just live on the... you know, just next to the mining activities. So what's needed to be done is a long term solution to the illegal mining and I think that one of the things that the mine and the government really need to look at is resettling and relocating who reside at the SML area."