Friday, May 13, 2011

Fijian Land Owners Watch Out for Abuse by Foreign Mining Companies

Australia Network News -  12 May 2011

PNG Indigenous Leaders Urge Action on PNG's Porgera Mine

Papua New Guinea's indigenous leaders are urging the owners of the Porgera mine to do more about pollution and alleged human rights abuses associated with the mine.

Attempts by PNG's environmental and land rights activists to meet with Canadian mining company Barrick Gold to raise their concerns have been unsuccessful.

PNG activist Jethro Tulin says traditional owners living in the special mine lease area are worried about their health and safety.

He has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program, Barrick should be helping them to relocate.

"We are being made to live like squatter settlers in our own land," he said.

"We want a proper resettlement program from Barrick, while they are still active in, they have to put some money back into resettling the indigenous community that is living within the special mining lease."

Barrick has been accused of dumping tailing and waste water containing high levels of chemicals including arsenic, mercury and cynanide into a river hundreds of people rely on for fishing and for their drinking supplies.

The Porgera gold mine in Enga province is 95 per cent owned and operated by a Barrick subsidiary and the remainder is owned by the PNG Government.

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