The first step towards reopening of the new Porgera Mine has started today following a Security Forum where leaders and security forces appealed to warring tribes surrounding the mine to stop their tribal conflicts, which affects the mine, businesses and the Porgera Valley.
“The National Government is working day and night to ensure the mine is reopened in September so benefits can flow to the people.
“I appeal to you, the people of Porgera and the surrounding communities to stop fighting and do away with the guns and tap into spin off benefits from the mine.
“Let your children live in peace and get the benefits from the mine and stop the killings.”
These were the strong sentiments echoed by Prime Minister James Marape at the Security Forum at Paiam Town oval in Porgera this morning (20/07/23).
He also appealed to all the affected communities, landowners, mine license areas to bring their issues and grievances and what benefits they would like to get at the new Porgera Mine Development Forum in Wabag next month (August).
“We want to hear from you. We want to know what you want and how we can share the benefits from our 51 per cent stake in the New Porgera Mine,” he said.
Prime Minister Marape said this following the formal announcement of the Wardens Hearing and the Porgera Mine Development Forum by the Minister for Mining Sir Ano Pala at Paiam Town in Porgera Enga Province today.
The National Government wants the next 10 years not to be wasted like the last 30 years.
The Prime Minister said, “I am sorry and we apologize for the closure of the mine for the last 4 years but it was a short-term pain for the long-term gains.
“We have wasted 30 years with the benefits and there is nothing to show for and yet we complain for the four years of closure to negotiate for more.
“You must stop your tribal fight, drop your guns and pick up businesses from the mine.
“The Government, Police and the security forces will come down hard and after you if you keep on fighting.
“The people have suffered enough and the fights must stop,” said Prime Minister Marape.
He appealed to the communities to listen and work with the security forces and maintain law and order.
Prime Minister Marape said the National Government is looking forward to the Porgera Mine Development Forum in Wabag and wants all parties to take their issues to the table.
The Prime Minister also presented cheques totalling more than K18 million to the Enga Provincial Government, Porgera Development Authority and Paiam Town areas to start preparations towards hosting the Development Forum in Wabag next month.
The National Government has also announced a total of K700 million for a 7-year infrastructure development grant, which is meant to also address outstanding issues like resettling of people away from the mine area.
Prime Minister Marape also appealed to other people who do nothing and cause trouble to move back to their provinces and villages.
The Prime Minister said the first gold and revenue from the new Porgera Mine is anticipated by October this year or thereafter.
The National Government will issue or sign the Mining License by the end of August this year following the Mine Development Forum.