Mining in Morobe, Papua New Guinea: Impacts from mining along the Watut River

Morobe CoverThe Mineral Policy Institute’s report into mining impacts along the Watut River in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea is now publicly available. The report was officially released and distributed late September 2014 to many of the communities on the Watut River to concerned about current and potential impacts from industrial mining.

Excerpt: There can be no doubt that the Hidden Valley Gold- Silver mine has caused environmental impacts in excess of permit and approval conditions, mainly due to poor environmental management practices during construction that resulted in significant and ongoing sedimentation of the Watut River. These impacts from Hidden Valley have added to the historical and ongoing environmental impacts from both the Wau/Bulolo Goldfields and more recent workings in the Watut River area. While not at the same scale of impacts from mine-sites elsewhere in PNG, mining related problems in Morobe need to be examined and discussed as part of the national mining industry. An industry that has yet to effectively respond to current impacts, mining legacies and changing community expectations.

The scale of problems from the Hidden Valley mine-site have been exacerbated by the lack of transparency about the impacts and the response from operators and regulators. A lack of detail that leaves communities and stakeholders unsure of the source of and management response to sedimentation and other mining impacts.  Such secrecy and lack of transparency significantly hampers accurate scientific interpretation and only worsens the community perception of the impacts from the project to date. More via publications.