31 Oct 2007

PNG's Kokoda Track to be rerouted

8:12 am on 31 October 2007

Papua New Guinea's Kokoda Track is to be partly re-routed when landowners begin mining the Kodu hill and surrounding areas on Mount Bini at Koiari in Central province.

The National newspaper reports that landowners have told exploration company Frontier Resources that they would close down that section of the track if authorities tried to interfere.

The managing director of Frontier Resources Peter McNeil says

10-percent of the track passed through the area and the landowners maintain it's their right to improve the lives of the people through mining.

PNG's Vice Minister of Mining Ano Pala and Central Governor Alphonse Moroi have given assurances that the landowners' aspirations will be respected and that the government won't stop their plans.

The Government says it would support Frontier's application to renew an exploration licence, and the ministry of mining wants to fast-track the exploration work.