14 Oct 2008

Australian company challenges PNG mining ban near Kokoda

5:15 pm on 14 October 2008

An Australian company prevented from developing a mine along the historic Kokoda Track is set to challenge in court today a decision by the Papua New Guinea Government not to renew its licence.

Perth-based Frontier Resources is challenging PNG's Mining Department after Minister Puka Temu refused to renew its exploration licence at Mt Kodu.

Mr Temu had argued the planned work at the site would have threatened parts of the Kokoda Track, where 600 Australian soldiers died fighting the Japanese during the Second World War.

The track is protected under an agreement signed by the Australian and PNG governments.

An Australia-PNG taskforce is developing eco-tourism and infrastructure projects for the locals while keeping mining companies out.

It is also looking at World Heritage listing for the track.