Saturday, February 19, 2011

Basil says no to Zibe's proposed forum .

20th February 2011

PRESS - Sam Basil MP

The issue of the damage to the Watut and the people who rely upon it for their very existence and the resulting court case should not be the subject of a publicity-seeking talkfest proposed by Member for Huon Gulf Hon. Sasa Zibe. The question of liability of MMJV for the damage is before the Courts and Minister Zibe’s conduct would be in contempt of Court.

Where was Sasa Zibe when the people he represents in Parliament were crying for help throughout 2009 & 2010 as their river had been destroyed?

Where was he when they were complaining that the fish were dead, that they couldn’t use the river for transport as the overburden from the mine had made the river too shallow?”

Authorities have been signed by landowners of the Lower Watut region, which is in his electorate, for me to represent them in the court case against MMJV as Sasa Zibe did nothing to help them.

Now the mining company is putting the pressure on as the Court case has started, Sasa Zibe is trying to get his people to stop their fight for their rights by the calling of a general forum. The issues he seeks to talk about in the Forum, if dealt with properly, would take weeks to resolve, not days. Sasa Zibe is paying lip service to public consultation and he knows it.
I remind Sasa Zibe of his own Government’s warning of Contempt of Court several months ago through the then Attorney General Ano Pala and the then Governor of Madang Sir Arnold Amet (now Attorney General) to anyone who wished to debate, talk about or protest against the amendments to the Environment Act, as Mr Pala stated that the issue legality of the amendments was before the Courts. They threatened any and every citizen of this country with charges of Contempt of Court if the issues before the Court were discussed in any forum.
I suggest that Sasa Zibe takes his own Attorney General’s advice on this matter and refrain from any discussions concerning the basis of the Court case and should he in fact discuss any of the issues before the Court, I will not hesitate to commence proceedings for Contempt of Court against him, in order to protect the legal rights of the people of the Watut.
It would be also proper for the minister to get his Huon Gulf District JDP&BPC to help Bulolo District JDP&BPC to fund the court case because we have heard their plea and stood in on his behalf.


Hon Sam Basil Mp

In response to;

News Thursday 10th February, 2011
Morobe sets to discuss mining issues through forum
PREPARATIONS are well underway to stage a Morobe Mining Forum in Lae later this month to discuss mining issues affecting the province.
The forum is organised by the Morobe provincial government and is planned to be staged at the PNG University of Technology’s Duncanson Hall.
Morobe MPs including Governor Luther Wenge, government officials, mining officials, company executives, local community members, leaders, scientific organisations and stakeholders will participate.
The purpose of the forum is to gauge views by way of debating and discussing issues concerning mining operations in the province.
Many issues have been raised currently on the operations undertaken by Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV) by affected communities with their outspoken Bulolo MP Sam Basil.
Huon Gulf MP and Minister for Health Sasa Zibe said yesterday that all Morobean MPs, local leaders and interested parties should come together and debate issues ranging from landowners, conservation and environment and benefit sharing agreement.
Mr Zibe said other issues in relation to mining practices employed by developers, regulations and legal frame work would also be discussed at the forum.
“The outcome of this forum is to bring all known and perceived problems and issues to the table and encourage mediation process between all parties through which solutions would be found that concern local landowners, national and provincial government and the developer,” Mr Zibe said.
He added that he decided to propose the forum because he believed that there were workable partnership with investors rather than going through court battles.
“Morobe people and leaders must stand together on this issue. Mining is here to stay but we as a province must lay the ground rules for companies to come and operate,” the minister said.
Mr Zibe said that his people were set to be affected once the Wafi mining which shares the electorate with Bulolo electorate operates.
The minister said he was hopeful that amicable solutions would be found for current dispute between all parties involved in the Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV) through mediation after the debate and forum.
[Go to the top] Copyright©2009, Post-Courier Online. Use of this site is governed by our Legal Notice.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Newcrest Mining CEO Ian Smith resigns as profits soar to record

Business with the Wall Street Journal reports -

.Newcrest Mining CEO Ian Smith resigns as profits soar to record UPDATED David Fickling From: Dow Jones Newswires February 11, 2011 10:55AM Increase Text SizeDecrease Text SizePrintEmail Share

Add to DiggAdd to del.icio.usAdd to FacebookAdd to KwoffAdd to MyspaceAdd to NewsvineWhat are these?NEWCREST Mining chief executive Ian Smith unexpectedly resigned from the world's fifth-largest gold miner today, as the company announced record first-half net profits up 148 per cent to $437.8 million.

Mr Smith, who took over as head of the company in July 2006, said he was leaving to "pursue other areas of personal interest" and would be handing over to Greg Robinson, the company's executive director finance.

His resignation surprised many in the market, who had expected to see Mr Smith enjoy the fruits of his labours after turning round the company and completing the acquisition of its smaller rival Lihir Gold in September.

The Lihir deal put Newcrest in the first division of global gold miners behind Barrick Gold, Newmont Mining, AngloGold Ashanti, and Gold Fields.

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
Related CoverageSHARES: Interactive Newcrest chart
SUCCESSION: Newcrest changes CEO
ACCOUNTS: Read Newcrest's report

Smith ends five-year tenure at Newcrest The Australian, 40 minutes ago
Newcrest half-year profit up 148pc Adelaide Now, 49 minutes ago
Newcrest doubles profit, lifts production Perth Now, 5 hours ago
Newcrest urged to list in Toronto The Australian, 26 Jan 2011
Ivory Coast unrest hits Newcrest The Australian, 6 Dec 2010
.End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

The company is also in a sweet spot for global gold miners, with gold and Newcrest's main by-products copper and silver all around record prices.

"Obviously (Mr Smith's departure) is a net negative but if you look at what he's done, from here on it's about delivery of what he's set up," said Michael Slifirski, an analyst at Credit Suisse.

Another analyst, who asked not to be named, said that Mr Smith could be eyeing a role at one of Australia's diversified miners, Rio Tinto or BHP Billiton.

"People have speculated in the past about him stepping up to higher roles and it would make sense," he said.

Mr Smith is a former executive at Rio Tinto and was a senior resources manager at WMC Resources., the Australian company which was taken over by BHP Billiton in 2005 in the company's last major corporate acquisition.

"He's probably the best CEO in Australia so for people looking for a best CEO it's an obvious look," said Mr Slifirski.

Mr Smith's ability to execute the Lihir takeover, made at the low end of an independent expert's valuation for the company, may be a particular asset at a time when the mining sector is buzzing with mergers and acquisitions activity.

Rio Tinto has launched a $US3.9 billion ($3.89bn) takeover offer for Mozambique-focused coking coal miner Riversdale Mining closing March 4, while BHP Billiton has promised to continue its policy of pursuing major takeover deals despite the failure of chief executive Marius Kloppers to complete a major transaction since taking over in 2007.

Chairman Don Mercer said that it was now "the most appropriate time in the company's on-going development for the transition to occur" from Mr Smith to a new chief executive.

"Newcrest has been through substantial change over the past five years and the threats and opportunities facing the company that were apparent at the start of my tenure have largely been addressed and outcomes delivered," Mr Smith said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Newcrest said there was no particular reason for Smith's departure now. "It's just he's been there for five years, and all these things have been achieved and addressed," she said.

Mr Robinson worked in BHP’s petroleum and energy divisions in finance roles before joining Newcrest in 2006, prior to which he was a director of investment banking at Merrill Lynch & Co.

The company said the record results were a result of gold production rising 70 per cent over the previous half-year as a result of the acquisition of Lihir's mines and increased production from its mines at Cadia Valley in NSW, Gosowong on Indonesia's eastern Maluku island, and Hidden Valley in Papua New Guinea.

Newcrest said its revenue rose 66 per cent to $1.97bn from $1.19bn while a first-half dividend of 10 cents per share, unfranked, was declared, compared to 5c at the same time last year.

The company said that underlying profit, which excludes losses on restructured hedges and costs associated with acquisitions, rose 96 per cent to $523.1m from $266.6m.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011



Is Wari Iamo really serving the people? Or killing little people with mine wastes.


A second report from international consultancy firm Deloitte says the Department of Environment and Conservation has seriously misued donor funds deposited to its Biodiversity Trust Fund and compliance with procedures is ‘at a very low level’.

Deloitte says 73% of the spending from the trust fund in 2008, the year of its audit, was for‘unauthorized purposes’.

The funds for the trust account come from external agencies like the United Nations and private sector contributors to World Environment Day.

The Deloitte Report, is the second in a series of four reports prepared by Deloitte in 2008. In thefirst report Deloitte was highly critical of financial management generally within the Department, finding it complied with ‘almost none’ of the procedural requirements of the Public Finance Management Act or the Financial Management Manual and provides‘no useful’ information to managers on spending against budget and work plans.

In the second report Deloitte reveals K223,000 from the Biodiversity Trust Fund used for advances to DEC staff in 2007/8 was completely unaccounted for (including K9,000 for overseas travel).

Deloitte says no bank reconciliations for the Biodiversity Trust Fund had been done for the previous 7 months and all the reconciliations for the previous year used incorrect opening balances.

No monthly reports have been made by DEC to the Department of Finance on any DEC trust accounts, despite this being a statutory requirement.

Deloitte found there was no asset register for assets worth in total K150,000 purchased with monies from the Biodiversity Trust Account.

None of the 10 transactions tested for the report contained all the required signatures on the expenditure requisition and for 4 of the transactions no documentation could be produced.

Member for Bulolo Open
Hon Sam Basil Mp
Press – 08th February 2011
Call for PM to sack DEC Minister & Secretary.

I call on the Prime Minister to sack the Minister for Environment & Conservation Hon.
Benny Allen and his departmental head Wari Iamo for failing to serve the people of Papua New Guinea especially the victims of environmental destruction.

The recent Deloitte report has branded the DEC department as untrusted and with that alone we can assume that corruption exists from ministerial level down to the department.

The genuineness of approving new environmental plans and issuance of environmental permits can no longer be trusted by ordinary Papua New Guineans because all environmental plans have failed leaving the exposed communities to fend for themselves even taking their very own government to court.

The recent visit and statements made by the minister and his secretary after visiting Hidden Valley has proven to us all that their position has been compromised so if they can be branded as untrustworthy and irresponsible by a reputable accounting firm then it is to the best interest of all Papua New Guineans that the Environment minister Hon Benny Allen and his secretary be sacked immediately by the Prime Minister without delay.

If for some reasons the Prime Minister cannot then we all can assume that the Prime Minister is part and parcel of those corrupt practices in within the DEC department because of his government's involvement with the Ramu Nickel Mine issues.

If the minister and the secretary have been playing the games of the Prime Minister in fear of their jobs then they have to come clear to the media and expose all to clear their names.

Just like the planning department secretary and the planning minister they all have reached the cross roads now and must come out to clear their names we will see many of such cases coming out of the woodworks before the national elections next year.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Bulldog Track Access for locals to be challenged in court

Bulldog Track Access for locals to be challenged in court.

The remote Tekadu people have used the Bull Dog track for many years to bring their market goods like buai, tobacco, dried river fish, galip nuts and gold for sale into Kaindi (Eddie Creek) & Wau and also to access to health centres and to bring children for schooling.The closure of Tekadu peoples only access into Kaindi &Wau Town has left them with no option but to track from Tekadu and overnighting in Nukeva (Tauri Lakekamu LLG - Kerema) then catch banana boat for Yopoi Bridge (Malalau – Kerema) and then catch PMV to Port Moresby totalling three or four days of travel.

The Councillor of Tekadu Ward 20 of Wau Rural LLG Mr Henry Timothy has explained that for the villagers to transport a 20kg bag of Buai into Port Moresby they have to pay village porters to carry buai bags from Tekadu into Nukeva (a whole days walk) and then another day on banana boat into Yopoi then catch PMV on the notorious Kerema Highway into Port Moresby.Many has fallen victims of criminal hold ups on PMV & banana boats while the economics of transporting their produce from Tekadu into Port Moresby has proven uneconomical ever since the closure of their only access into Wau by MMJV Mine Operators the Newcrest of Australia & Harmony Gold of South Africa.

Councillor Henry stressed that the cost of travelling to Port Moresby markets has made it very difficult for the locals to earn their living and many has given up their ways of earning cash by returning to their subsistance way of life which means they won’t be able to afford salt, cooking oil, school fees, rice, soap or even to cloth themselves.

Tracking into Hidden Valley and Eddie Creek has been their traditional route and the councillor wants their local member of parliament Hon. Sam Basil to fight the developer of Hidden Valley for their rights to use the Bulldog Track again.

Hon. Sam Basil Mp assured Councillor Henry Timothy that the traditional rights of the people to have access to the bulldog track that runs into Hidden Valley Mine will be challenged in court.
Photo. L Hon. Sam Basil & Councillor Henry Timothy

Before the mining company arrived the Tekaduans have been using the Bulldog Track even long before world war 2 and know that they still have their rights. They believe that there are international laws somewhere including our national constitution that can protect the indigenous people’s rights like themselves and their way of living from big international mining companies like MMJV.

In 2006 and again in 2009 the Tekadu people tried to protest at the entrance of the company in Hidden Valley to ask for their access rights but were ignored the first attempt resulted in several arrests made.
Councillor Henry said the victims were Peter Yaku and Sonagi Elimas including their wives were arrested and detained in Bulolo cells and were later released on bail.

When Morobe Mining Joint venture commenced the Hidden Valley Mining Operations, it prohibited access to the Tekadu people to the Bull Dog Track by placing locked gates and security guards with guns at the points where the Bull Dog track enters and exits the mining lease area. MMJV have unlawfully terminated the access to the Bull Dog track for these people.

The Bull Dog track was constructed by Australian Army engineers and Papua New Guineans over 9 months in 1943. More than 2000 Australians and 2000 Papua New Guineas cut the road with pickaxes and dynamite over a period of eight months and it was built for the purpose of providing a supply line for future military operations in the Markham Valley and on the North Coast of Papua New Guinea.

The Chief Engineer, W. J. Reinhold, was later to write "Every foot of progress made on this road exacted the ultimate in courage, endurance, skill and toil. Its construction took a toll from surveyor, engineer, laborer and native carrier alike."made famous because.

Mr Basil said, the people now have to walk around, in much more difficult terrain that adds three days onto their journeys. The people of Yanina, Anandea, Yanawe, takadu 1 and tekadu 2 cannot bring store goods back to their homes because of the rough terrain and have to cross into Gulf and Central provinces to sell their betelnut and raise funds for their basic needs and to get treatment at health centres. The lengthy walk means the people cannot carry their market goods into Wau nor get emergency case to medical treatment into Wau in time.

There was an aid post and a school in the tekadu people’s area but both of closed due the blocking of the track by MMJV. Last year a woman who had complications from child birth was carried for 7 days on the diverted route and she died 50m from the health centre. Had she and her carriers been allowed access to the Bull Dog track, she would have reached the health centre days earlier, and probably would have survived.

The closure of Bulldog track has also affected the tourism industry therefore unlike the black cat villagers people from Tekadu cannot build guest houses or participate in the tourism business spin offs.

By blocking access to this track, MMJV has infringed on the people’s customary land use rights contrary to the Mining Act and breached their Constitutional rights including but not limited to S52 Freedom of Movement and S53 Unjust Deprivation of Property. MMJV has not provided an alternate route for the Tekadu people, nor have their compensated them for their loss of land use and breach of their rights. The Bulolo District has determined that it will assist these people to take redress against MMJV and enforce these people’s rights and hold MMJV accountable for their actions.

Satellite Image of Bulldog track.

History of Bull Dog track
In 1943 Australian Army engineers; the 2/1 and 2/16 Field Company RAE, 9th Australian Field Company (AIF), veterans of Greece and Crete, the 1st and 3rd Australian Pack Transport Companies and local Papuan labor cut the road with pickaxes and dynamite over a period of eight months. The Chief Engineer, W. J. Reinhold, was later to write "Every foot of progress made on this road exacted the ultimate in courage, endurance, skill and toil. Its construction took a toll from surveyor, engineer, laborer and native carrier alike." During five months of operations over seventy per cent of the 2/1 Australian Field Company contracted malaria.

Along many sections, road-surfacing materials was practically non-existent. The climate ranged from torrid heat to icy cold. The annual rainfall ranged between 150 and 200 inches. These wet conditions combined with the topographic features made construction extremely difficult. In a few minutes a landslide would destroy weeks of labour. The construction gangs would stop, repair the work and move on.

As work progressed the problem of maintaining a supply line became formidable. Work was often suspended for lack of petrol, oil, grease explosives, drill steel, jack bits or other essentials. Nearly all work in the high central section of the road was done with picks, shovels and crowbars. Since blacksmiths tools were slow in arriving and forges awkward to transport, it was often necessary to use badly blunted tools.

The purpose of the road was to provide a supply line for future military operations in the Markham Valley and on the northern coasts of Papua New Guinea. On the late afternoon of August 22, 1943, the road was finally completed and two jeeps crossed from Edie Creek to Bulldog.

On September 23, the first three ton trucks crossed the road successfully and the long supply line was finally open with 114 kilometers of road were now completed. Commencing at Bulldog at an altitude of 59 meters it rose by a series of long loops up through the steep river gorges of the southern watershed to an altitude of three thousand meters, and then dropped down a series of ridges into the Wau valley.

Seventeen bridges were constructed; mostly single, but at least one with multiple spans. More than two thousand Australian army personnel and over two thousand Papuans and New Guineans were involved during nine months of construction. Thus the road, acclaimed as the greatest military engineering feat ever was completed and for the only time in history motor vehicles crossed the high rugged mountains of Papua New Guinea.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Thursday, February 3, 2011

As can be seen here from a shot in November 2010 the river that runs through Hidden Valley Project is visibly coloured from fresh silts from the mine. The river that runs through Wau/Bulolo and along many Alluvial Miners is less coloured


As can be seen here from a shot in November 2010 the river that runs through Hidden Valley Project is visibly coloured from fresh silts from the mine. The river that runs through Wau/Bulolo and along many Alluvial Miners is less coloured.