Papua New Guinea opposition grows to dumping mine waste at sea (New Zealand Herald – September 9, 2020)

Opposition to the disposal of mining waste in the ocean is growing in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe province.

Companies behind the proposed Wafi-Golpu gold and copper mine near Lae plan to pump mine tailings into the Huon Gulf, a process they call Deep Sea Tailings Displacement (DSTD).

The former governor of Papua New Guinea’s Morobe province, Keely Naru, is the latest to wade into the debate, telling the Post Courier the mining companies behind the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture, Harmony of South Africa and Newcrest from Australia, should be required to ship the tailings back to their countries of origin.

The current governor, Ginson Saonu, has also voiced his opposition to submarine tailings disposal, asking the mining minister in parliament last week why a traditional tailings dam could not be built on land.

Loop PNG reported the minister, Wera Mori, saying the area was prone to earthquakes and heavy rain that could break a tailings dam, making that option a “recipe for disaster”.

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