YLA CHAIRMAN George Gusi REFUSES TO SIGN MOA – TGM.

The Tolukuma (Yulai) Landowner Group representing landowners of the Tolukuma Gold Mine refused to sign the revised Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in Port Moresby today.

Chairman George Gusi snubbed the long overdue revised MOA, claiming there are still outstanding issues to be settled.
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Facilitated by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), the signing ceremony was attended by Mining Minister Byron Chan, Central Province Governor, Kila Haoda, Executive Director of Asidokona, Vincent Siou, Woitape LLG President Joe Geru, and MRA Managing Director, Phillip Samar.

Speaking at the ceremony, Gusi asked for an extension to iron out outstanding issues which they want to see contained in the current MOA as he claims there was a lack of consultation by the MRA.

He said some of the outstanding issues include:

Establishment of the Infrastructure Development Committee;
Environmental damage report on the waterway and tailings dam, which is a national issue on the reputation of the mine;
No proper mine development plan showing the lifespan and economic value of the mine; and
No proper landowner business plan under the spin off benefits and life after mine programs.

Gusi also asked why there was a rush to sign the MOA on the eve of the elections, questioning the legal basis justifying Minister Chan and Governor Haoda to proceed as signatories.

“We are confused as to why we are rushing to sign. I strongly recommend that we defer the MOA signing till after the return of writs. It’s only five weeks away,” he said.

“So after the elections, we have a legitimate Government and authority to execute our MOA.

“Ladies and gentlemen, both national and provincial governments have totally failed to implement many undertakings in the previous MOA.”

Despite his refusal, the signing ceremony went ahead with all parties content with the MOA. Gusi maintained his stance and did not sign.

Following the singing, Minister Chan said the previous MOA did not contain any Government commitment, however, the revised agreement contained guarantees which the government was willing to deliver.

They include, among others, the Tolukuma Highway upgrade project.

Chan said he would not have proceeded with any signing if he knew there were still outstanding issues.

However, he said the revision of the MOA was an ongoing thing and any outstanding issue would be catered for down the track.

“Whatever we sign today, it’s continuous, it’s a Government commitment to the people of Central Province, Goilala District and to your people. It is our commitment,” he said.

“This Government has committed all of these projects to you as of today.”

Meanwhile, Bonnie Gelu, from the State Solicitors office, who was present informed landowners and guests that Minister Chan and Governor Haoda, as signatories to the MOA, are acting within the legal parameters as they are still recognized as elected leaders until the return of writs.

Picture: Signatories to the revised Tolukuma MOA having a toast while Yulai Landowner Association Chairman, George Gusi, shows disinterest.

Author: Cedric Patjole, LOOPPNG

FANE COMMUNITY TO REHABILITATE THEIR PRIMARY SCHOOL

A community in Goilala District has been given the ownership to rebuild its only primary school.

Goilala MP, William Samb presented K32,000 to Fane villagers recently for the construction of classrooms.

The school was forced to close because of lack of teaching staff and learning facilities. Health and Education infrastructure were established in the colonial era, however, received no support over the past 15 years.

Goilala MP William Samb visited the small village to support the community rebuild its only education institution. The community aims to build classrooms using bush materials.

MP Samb also called for an investigation into the posting of teachers to Goilala who remain in Port Moresby but are on the payroll.

“The Central Education Office will be written a letter to look into the matter”, said MP Samb. “This matter is serious because these teachers are getting paid while our children are suffering”, he added.

For this small community, the closure of the school has affected its young population.

The Fane Community aims to rebuild the school before the 2017 education calendar commences.

PETROMIN TO SHUT TOLUKUMA MINE – Post Courier

The Board of Petromin Holdings Limited (Petromin) is seriously considering steps to close Tolukuma gold mine (TGM) in Goilala district.

This announcement has come following the board meeting last Friday to decide the future of Tolukuma.

Petromin board chairman Sir Brown Bai said in a statement that the decision is being considered as attempts to bring in a credible partner has not been successful.

“High operating costs and continuous subdued gold price has been a challenge for TGM and Petromin to continue with the operation and sustain the cash support required on an on going basis.

“Petromin has been losing money funding TGM for the last four years and with falling gold prices, Petromin can no longer sustain TGM,” Sir Bai said.

He says the management has been advised to consult with appropriate regulators and stakeholders before a final decision is taken.

“The Board is aware of regulatory issues that Petromin has to comply with and as a Papua New Guinean company owned by the State, we wish to be responsible in terms of meeting various compliance requirements.

“The process of consultation will commence with relevant stakeholders,” he said.

He also adds that other companies within the industry have also been affected by the price cycle and have