23 Mar 2007

Miner must accept fault for river pollution says PNG provincial governor

4:20 pm on 23 March 2007

The Governor of Papua new Guinea's Central Province says that Tolukuma Gold Mine management must accept responsibility of chemically polluting local rivers.

The newspaper, the National, reports that Alphonse Mori made the statement after meeting the Emperor Mines manager, Brad Sampson, this week.

Mr Sampson asked for a meeting with Mr Moroi last week after a study commissioned by Central provincial government showed very high levels of toxic heavy metals in the blood samples of people living along the Auga and Angabanga Rivers.

The governor says heavy metal detoxification treatment moves must be started and at the same time a full chemical and full status data base for the wider affected communities must be developed.

Mr Moroi has called for immediate intervention, which includes prevention and treatment plans, and the provision of an immediate alternate domestic water source and relocation of affected communities.