21 Mar 2012

PNG court dismisses legal proceedings over river pollution against Porgera Mine

8:24 pm on 21 March 2012

A 3.3 billion US dollar claim against the State by landowners from Pogera Gold Mine for alleged environmental damage has been thrown out by Papua New Guinea's National Court.

The landowners from Lower Pogrera and their association, the Pogera River Alluvial Miners Association, had taken the Pogera Joint Venture and relevant state agencies to court for alleged failure in controlling its mine waste disposal system.

The Post Courier reports that in their writ of summons, the plaintiffs claim that pollution from the mine amounts to unreasonable interference or denial of their peaceful use and enjoyment of the Porgera River system.

The landowner group claims that because of the mine's disposal system, their water has become poisonous, unclean and dangerous.

Lawyers acting for the Mineral Resource Authority last week made an application to dismiss the claim in its entirety.

The application was supported by Pogera Joint Venture and all parties were heard on the application.

Justice Derek Hartshorne ruled that the proceedings is dismissed and awarded costs against the plaintiffs.