BY PORENI UMAU
East New Britain Mining and Petroleum Ltd (ENBMPL), a subsidiary of the East New Britain Development Corporation (ENBDC) group of companies, has partnered with the abandoned Sinivit mine landowners to pursue future mining activities.
The partnership was sealed with a K20,000 cheque presentation on behalf of ENBPML to the Sinivit Landowners Association Incorporated (SLAI), and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the parties.
The cheque was presented by ENBDC group executive chairman and director-chief executive officer, Isaac Minicus, to SLAI president, Douglas Augustine.
Mr Augustine said the funding was the first of its kind for the landowners.
He said the funds would go towards awareness in the seven villages of the Uramat clan from inland Baining to Lassul-Baining and Sinivit.
Mr Augustine said the awareness would cover environment issues, social issues and pave the way forward for a better working relationship between the parties.
He said his people have been vocal for benefits since 1996 but have received nothing — up until the closure of the mine.
Mr Ausgustine said the gesture by ENBDC was “light at the end of the tunnel”.
Mr Minicus said the payment and MoU signing was the first instance of cooperation between the parties.
He said his organisation entering the hydrocarbon and mining sectors was a first for the province.
He said the small ceremony marked the first steps towards working and connecting with the landowners and surrounding communities of the Sinivit mine.
Mr Minicus said he was pleased to work with the landowners and looked forward to re-opening and operating the mine.