Confusion and Suspense – Tolukuma Gold Mine


TGM Workforce Against Petromin
TGM Workforce Against Petromin

By COB today, 6th May 2013, it will be 59 days of NO PRODUCTION at Petromin Holdings Limited [was owned] Tolukuma Gold Mines, just a few Kilometers north east from Port Moresby, in Central Province.

Production was halted due to negligence by Management towards a fatal incident that came so close to resulting in death and the subsequent visit by an inspector from MRA. The management failed to launch an investigation into the cause of this near miss incident which took place in the early hours of Wednesday 6th of March 2013 in the underground level 1450.

On the 3rd May 2013, Minning Operations Manager under Petromin Ms Linda Brown Kola, with a new “proposed” GM Mr. Sarimu Karimu from North Solomon (a mine engineer) to introduce to the work force here at Tolukuma.

However, prior to the arrival of the delegation lead by Ms Brown, the work force at Tolukuma had a placard which read” GO BACK LINDA WITH PROPOSED MANAGER BY TGM WORKFORCE”.

Linda was stopped at the helipad with her delegation, not to pass through to the camp site and was forced to get back on the same chopper and get out of TGM, which she did. Ms Brown never mutered a word nor could she speak a word or was allowed to speak.

The general feeling in and around the mine site was “had enough of playing politics, cheating and reaping out from this mine while the people of this area and the workforce are still suffering.”

On Saturday 4th May 2013, Acting GM Vincent Appo and his team headed to Pom for further negotiations with the Prime Minister. If the Member for Goilala will assist and accompany this Team to face off with the Prime Minister is another issue in itself.

On Sunday 5th,  May 2013, Mr. Dominic Warege Mill Superintendent, the man Petromin chooses to be the next General Manager for TGM, flew into TGM with eight (8) Task Force (SSD). When quiried by the workforce what their purpose was in coming up to TGM, they responded, their deployment was purposely to “take care of the state properties” on site and also the workforce.

However the chopper landed and waited for 10 minutes before it was forced off by the workforce to get back to Pom. The workforce suspected this team deployed here were under instruction to get the remaining ounces of gold [gold bars] smelted back to Pom.

They have not received any updates from the team that left TGM, lead by Vincent Appo, on Sturday.

Live. Workforce waving to Acting GM Vincent Appo and his team
Live. Workforce waving to Acting GM Vincent Appo and his team

While all this is happening, MP for Goilala Daniel K Mona is unheard off. Mr Mona, seems to be so  pre-occupied and has other pressing issues the needs his attention and time.

Simillarly, the Yulai Land Owner Association Chairman Mr George Gusi is gone silent. He is actually no where to be seen or there has been no news of him anywhere.

The last time George Gusi was seen in TGM was when he was there trying to fight for the K3.00 royalty payment paid to his principal land owners. This is one issue and opportunity George and Mona should be standing up together with the support of the 3 LLGS, and District Administration and the people of Yulai primarily and Goilala generally to ensure the decisions made by the government is beneficial to the indigenous people – the locals.

Needless to say, Operations at the Mine site reminds suspended, with critical departments having selected staff manning the place, with special police personnel onsite to ensure law and order is adhered to.

While this is episode of events turn out each day, the life of a TGM Mine worker reminds an issue worth looking at.
No accommodation provided by TGM [own accommodation], lack of electricity in their homes, sanitation is a major health risk; water supply is to central spots only [shared]. And hygiene is below acceptable health standards.

This is genocide. And Suicidal. And all this is done and allowed to happen and watched by our Government of Papua New Guinea

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