Concern over PNG plans for mining at Frieda River

6:54 pm on 21 December 2018

A planned new gold and copper mine in East Sepik is opposed by communities right along the length of the Papua New Guinea's Sepik River, an environmental activist says.

Frieda River heading north to join the Sepik River.

Frieda River heading north to join the Sepik River. Photo: Facebook - SEPIK Capital, PNG - Wewak Urban Local Level Government

The Frieda Mine, on the Frieda River - a tributary of the Sepik River - contains one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the world.

It is thought to contain 13 million tonnes of copper and 20 million ounces of gold.

A spokesman for community environment group Project Sepik, Emmanuel Peni, said there was widespread opposition to the mine's development.

"From Iniok Village, which is where the barges and ships stop at on the Frieda River, right down to the mouth of the Sepik and all other thinking Papua New Guineans, and Sepik, people from all over Sepik, are against the mine," he said.

People are concerned about the possible contamination and destruction of the environment along the Frieda and then the Sepik Rivers, Mr Peni said.