20 Dec 2010

PNG MP denies withdrawing legal proceedings against mine operator

4:20 pm on 20 December 2010

An MP in Papua New Guinea denies claims that he has withdrawn legal proceedings over the pollution of the Watut River by the Hidden Valley gold mine.

Sam Basil this month filed a compensation bid against the mine's operator, Morobe Mining Joint Venture, on behalf of 110 landowners.

However a statement issued by the Hidden Valley mine last Thursday claimed Mr Basil had withdrawn the legal action.

But Mr Basil is quoted on Keith Jackson's PNG Attitude website as saying the mine's statement is untrue.

Mr Basil says he has been in talks with Morobe Mining Joint Venture to settle the matter without having to go through lengthy court proceedings.

He has agreed not to take further steps with litigation until his lawyers and scientists meet the mine owners in January.

Last week, the MP said he felt deceived that Morobe Mining Joint Venture has been attempting to buy off potential plaintiffs with payments of 1,200 kina each.