23 Feb 2012

PNG govt team claims no link between Morobe mine and dead fish

1:39 pm on 23 February 2012

Papua New Guinea's Department of Environment and Conservation has found no link between the Hidden Valley Gold Mine and a build-up of dead fish in local rivers.

The Department sent a team to Morobe Province after protests from the Labu people about losing their source of food and livelihood.

The Labu community believes discharge from the mine is to blame.

Our correspondent Oseah Philemon reports:

"It's a two-man team - a lawyer and technical advisor - who came and did a whirlwind tour of the areas up the Markham Valley; particularly they included the Watut River and Wau/Bulolo area. When they came, they got into a helicopter chartered by the Hidden Valley Mine. They just flew around and had an aerial look at the river system, and they didn't do any tests on the ground. They said the mine could not possibly be responsible, they're saying there's no chemical spill or discharge from the mine into the river system that could have led to the fish dying and so forth."

Oseah Philemon