17 Oct 2011

PNG's Enga Governor says no re-settling of Porgera communities before review

8:17 pm on 17 October 2011

The Governor of the Enga province in Papua New Guinea says nothing can be done about the re-settlement of communities living within the Porgera gold mine lease area until a review of the operation is held.

A group representing the landowners in the mining lease area , the Porgera Alliance, has issued a report stating the mining operation, run by Canadian company Barrick Gold, has run roughshod over human rights of the people living nearby.

The Alliance says the company's practice of relocating some families within the lease area is unacceptable and comprehensive re-settlement away from the mine is needed.

Enga Governor, Peter Ipatas, says a review by the country's mining department is still to be carried out and until it is he is powerless to do anything.

"We really don't have the resources and the legal authority to actually compell the company to do anything. It's got to be done through our national government, through the mining department. So that's the process we all have to follow."

Governor Peter Ipatas.

He says the communities should have been relocated before mining began.