Road block against Newcrest-Harmony JV

IN RESPONSE to an incident which reportedly killed hundreds of fish and prawns, villagers have blocked the Markham River bridge between port city Lae and the Wafi-Golpu project and Hidden Valley gold mine to the southwest in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe province.
Road block against Newcrest-Harmony JV Road block against Newcrest-Harmony JV Road block against Newcrest-Harmony JV Road block against Newcrest-Harmony JV Road block against Newcrest-Harmony JV

Both Hidden Valley and the world-class Wafi-Golpu copper-gold project are operated by Morobe Mining Joint Ventures which is 50:50 owned by Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold.

On Thursday, MMJV was first alerted by Chiatz villagers of 500 dead fish and prawns near the confluence of the Watut and Markham rivers according to a MMJV spokesman who spoke to PNG Mine Watch.

But he reportedly said the water discharged from the Hidden Valley mine was monitored for quality on a daily basis.

In any case, the road block on Markham bridge prevents access for MMJV vehicles and villagers reportedly want to speak to Morobe Governor Luther Wenge and are seeking 10 million kina of compensation ($A4.49 million).

According to the National, a visiting "delegation" was chased away by angry residents armed with bush knives, who told them to bring back Wenge to witness the dead fish which were stacked in the oil drums used in the blockade.

Protestors also told the newspaper a vehicle recently overturned near Wampet village which spilled cargo of fuel and battery acid into the river.

PNGIndustryNews.net is seeking comment from MMJV.

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