Papua New Guinea
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Landowner endorsed by court urges recognition from state authorities

A principal landowner of the Porgera Mine who is legitimised by the court, has called on the State and its responsible agencies such as; Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) and Kumul Mineral Holdings Ltd (KMHL), to recognise him.

Peter Yangala Wanis, who was made the principal landowner of the Aipaka land by the Porgera Land Court, wants the relevant State agencies to recognise him so that he can participate in the new Porgera Mine agreement.

The Porgera Land Court ruled that Mr Wanis as the male decendant of the Yapau Pakean Clan be made the principal landowner of the land known as Aipaka land.
The Aipaka land is where the Porgera mine dumpsite is situated and more than four hectares in size.

Mr Wanis said he had frequented the MRA office and the office of the Minister for Mining but has not received any favourable response as yet, and is seeking to file a lawsuit if the relevant State agencies fail to honour a legitimate court order endorsing him as a principal landowner.

He said his people have suffered for too long from environmental damages and river pollution caused by the mine over the past 30 years and he wants to ensure his people are compensated well and for his people to have a voice.

“I have written to the relevant State agencies accompanied by all documented facts and evidences on my status as the sole principal landowner of Aipaka which was affirmed by the Porgera District Court and the Land Court, but I fail to understand why the responsible agencies are still not recognising me.

“There are too many paper landowners who have robbed us from our rights over the past 30 years and I want such unnecessary practice and backdoor deals to stop and legitimate genuine people must represent the interest of the landowners of the Special Mining Lease (SML) and the Lease for Mining Purpose (LMP) to have the maximum benefit,” Mr Wanis said.

He therefore, called on the relevant State agencies to work with him and formalise his interest promptly so that he can be able to participate in the new Porgera mining deal.