The proposed Deep Sea Tailings Placement (DSTP) for the Wafi-Golpu mine project is described as ‘an inhumane act in the world’ by scientists and Non-Government Organisations representing the communities living in areas that will be impacted when the proposed operations start. The planned DSTP in the Huon-Gulf is predicted to have a disastrous impact on the lives and environment of Morobe.
On Monday the 21st of November 2022, a Press Conference was held in Port Moresby by scientists and NGOs calling on the government to withdraw its decision in the approval of the Environment Permit to developers-Newcrest and Harmony Golds Ltd for the Wafi-Golpu mining project.
The Government’s decision to issue the Environment Permit has raised deep concerns and outrage amongst the community of the Huon Gulf coastline. “Proposal by the government and developers to use DSTP is very inappropriate”, said Professor Ralph Mana, a local scientist. Professor Mana reiterated that the Government did not take into consideration expert recommendations by local scientists. This is showing the government’s lack of respect for human rights.
Leading Human Rights and Environmental Rights Advocate Peter Bosip from the Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights Inc. said no prior and informed consent was given by the communities who will be affected by the mine. “The Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) did not show due diligence in seeking consent before issuing the Environment Permit and this shows total disrespect to communities whose lives are dependent on the environment for survival”, added Mr. Bosip.
Jotham Keleino a local representative of the communities surrounding the mine impact area stressed that DSTP is not wanted by the people of Morobe. “The lives of the people is very much dependent on the environment and the sea. If the mine goes into operation much destruction is expected”, said Jotham.
The government must withdraw the Environment Permit and remove Deep Sea Tailings Placement as a method of waste disposal.
Click on the link above to listen to Professor Ralph Mana, Mr. Peter Bosip and Mr. Jotham Keleino speak at the conference