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.

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


At 3pm today [Sunday 15th February 2015] Chairman of the Landowner Association – Yulai – stormed the TGM General Manager’s with a long handle axe and chased the GM out of his office.

Prior to breaking and entering the GMS Office, Mr Gusi forcefully entered the IPI catering operating bulkstore and forced it closed.

He destroyed the freezers and other white goods inside and headed for the GMS office.

If the GM was hurt in this act, it’s unknown but unconfirmed reports from the mine site confirms the night shift workers have been forced to stay off work. Which has been actioned.

Production at the mine site has been suspended as TGM comes under siege all because of one man – Mr George Gusi.

The reason of the attack is unknown but few informants did mention George Gusi is unhappy with TGM because his food stock for his store has not been airlift from Pom to TGM mine site for 4 days.

But others believe Mr Gusi is frustrated with the TGM Management due to the fact that Management had him removed from the campsite and rid him of previledges that came with campsite accommodation.

Amongst a host of “demands” Mr Gusi verbally aired was..

1. Removal of the TGM GM
2. Immediate solution to unsolved issues at mine site,
3. Intervention from the National Government to resolve outstanding issues between TGM LOS and TGM.

Generally reaction from the TGM workforce is that of confusion.

No one knows why Mr Gusi has done what he has done.

Situation at the mine site has been normalized but the GM is shocked after this surprise attack from the LO Chairman with an axe.

It was obvious Mr Gusi was under liquor and as such all he was saying was alcohol influenced.

More updates to follow.