Thursday, March 22, 2012

K7b claim against State thrown out

Source: Post Courier, March 21, 2012
By TODAGIA KELOLA
A MASSIVE K7 billion claim against the State by landowners from Pogera Gold Mine for alleged environmental damage has been thrown out by the National Court.
The landowners from Lower Pogera and their association, the Pogera River Alluvial Miners Association, had taken Pogera Gold Mine, Barrick (Niugini) Limited, Secretaries for Environment and Mining, Mineral Resource Authority and the State for alleged failure in controlling mine waste disposal system and its monitoring and reporting system at the Gold Mine which has resulted in the plaintiffs suffering grave environmental damages and that its effects will last for a long time within the next 100 – 1000 years.
The plaintiffs in their writ of summons claim that such pollution amounts to unreasonable interference or denial of their peaceful use and enjoyment of the Porgera River system, they claim that the mine has totally polluted their water in that it has become poisonous, unclean, dangerous and that such conduct is an interference in their livelihood since its commencements and shall be for many years.
Last Tuesday, lawyers acting for Mineral Resource Authority, Namani and Associate Lawyers through Hubert Namani made an application to dismiss the claim in its entirety.
The application was supported by Pogera Joint Venture and all parties were heard on the application.
Justice Derek Hartshorne, who presided over the matter, adjourned to Wednesday and he ruled that the proceedings is dismissed and awarded costs against the plaintiffs.
Observers outside the court stated that it was a relief that the application was made because if it would have gone the plaintiff’s way the State will have to fork out the amount.

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