Commentary: Theft of resources in Papua New Guinea

Author: Vijay Prashad, Asia Times, Published on: 6 May 2019

"Theft of resources in Papua New Guinea", 4 May 2019

...Papua New Guinea...is one of the centers of international gold mining, with a major company with an innocuous name – Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) – sucking out the enormous deposits of gold from its mountainous landscape.

...Behind the name PJV sits the Canadian mining company Barrick Gold and the Chinese mining company Zijin Mining....

...[T]he Justice Foundation for Porgera...filed a suit worth $13 billion against the PNG government....

...[T]he Akali Tange Association,...not part of this lawsuit...documented the killing of 14 people as well as torture and arbitrary arrests of people by the PJV security guards. At that time, the mine was owned by the Canadian company Placer Dome....

...[T]he ATA...currently has a total of 940 human-rights allegations against the company.... These allegations run from extrajudicial killings to gang rapes to chemical poisoning....

...Women write of rape as an object to destroy their society.... Routine violence is the order of things....

...[S]ecurity guards linked to the mine and the police allegedly burned down 150 homes near the mine....

...The people – through the ATA’s recommendations – seek compensation...[t]hey want to enforce environmental rules to prevent the dumping of harsh chemicals into the rivers. They want a hospital in the area to be tasked with dealing with mercury poisoning and the broad impact of the toxic soil produced by the mining techniques of Barrick Gold.

...Neither Barrick/Zijin nor the government of Papua New Guinea has taken them seriously.

...[T]he Special Mining Lease for the Porgera mine will need to be renewed....[n]o one believes that the government of Papua New Guinea is going to drop Barrick....

...[I]ts removal of gold has left the Porgerans very poor, and very angry.

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Related companies: Barrick (Niugini) Limited Barrick Gold Zijin