PNG landowners agree to shutdown K92 mine

TRADITIONAL landowners in Papua New Guina's Eastern Highlands province have agreed to shut down operations at K92 Mining's Kainantu gold project.
PNG landowners agree to shutdown K92 mine PNG landowners agree to shutdown K92 mine PNG landowners agree to shutdown K92 mine PNG landowners agree to shutdown K92 mine PNG landowners agree to shutdown K92 mine

Staff Reporter

Following a meeting in Bilamoia, more than 200 landowners agreed the company had not fulfilled its commitments in the project's memorandum of agreement, the Post Courier reported.
According to the landowners, K92 failed to hire unskilled youth, fund a variety of community projects, or award a contract to the landowner company, the Bilamoia Development Corporation.
Bilamoia Interim Landowner Association chairman Neneti Tesai said "K92 has failed miserably to [honour] the original agreement", calling on all stakeholders involved to revise the MoA. 
This would entail BILA, K92 Mining, Mineral Resource Development Company and the Eastern Highlands Provincial government coming together to re-evaluate the agreement.
Tesai told the Post Courier that landowners would allow operations to resume after the MoA was modified and accepted by all concerned parties.
K92 Mining says the landowners' claims about it not honouring the agreement are unfounded.
Chief operating officer John Lewins said the mine had a workforce of 500 including contractors, and 300 employees were from Bilamoia. 
He noted a number of business ventures in which landowners were already participating, including the mine catering contract, provision of security services and refuse collection, as well as maintenance, supply of mobile plant and installation of infrastructure.
Further contracts and the expansion of business opportunities have already been identified by K92, according to Lewins, however, the company has been awaiting the formation of a single Bilamoian body to represent the landowners. 
While this occurred with the formation of BILA earlier in 2017, the association is termed interim as it has not yet heard the outcome of its appeal to the Land Title Commission determination of 2009.