25 Feb 2010

Thousand of squatters still need relocation from PNG's Porgera mine, says Enga Governor

6:19 pm on 25 February 2010

The Governor of Enga province has again called for help from Papua New Guinea's government and operators of the Porgera gold mine to relocate thousands of squatters living illegally within the Special Mining Lease, or SML, area.

This comes after a police operation last year which aimed to reduce widespread lawlessness in the Porgera Valley where police controversially burnt down at least 100 shacks within the SML and evicted squatters at gunpoint.

The Enga Governor, Peter Ipatas, says while lawlessness has since lessened in Porgera, most of the squatters are still living on the SML area and there remains a need to relocate them.

"We don't want to have this kind of situation but due to economic reasons and whatever, the company don't seem to want to relocate people and so you have a situation where you have people living right inside the mining area. From what I'm told, the mine will go for another ten to fifteen years so it would be good if we relocated them."

Peter Ipatas