21 May 2011

PNG landowners lobby for UN support over grievances with Canadian company

9:40 am on 21 May 2011

Landowners from Porgera in Papua New Guinea are lobbying the United Nations for support over their grievances about Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold's mine on their land.

It's the fourth year that the landowners from the Porgera Alliance have travelled to the UN's forum for indigenous peoples to present their ongoing concerns at being marginalised by the operation.

The landowners, Mark Ekepa and Jethro Tulin, have gone to New York after attending Barrick's AGM for a fourth consecutive year, to complain about landowners losing rights to occupancy on the Special Mining Lease area at Porgera.

Natalie Lowrey of Friends of the Earth Australia says these landowners want relocation.

"That's been one of the biggest pushes, is for relocation and compensation for these people. And this is the big thing that they keep bringing to Barrick Gold and to the UN and of course it's just falling on deaf ears. And even if there was a situation where the mining company left, they're left with really deeply damaged land."

Natalie Lowrey.