Saturday, September 29, 2012

Questions for Pundari et al re Experimental Seabed Mining

Above: Madang People held a recent public forum in opposing Experimental Seabed Mining

The Minister for Environment, John Pundari, has called for Public Consultations regarding his decision as former Mining Minister to grant Nautilus Minerals the tok orait to conduct its Seabed a mining Experiment here in Papua New Guinea. If you are lucky to attend the forums at NRI here in Port Moresby or at DWU in Madang, please ask the Minister and govt officials these questions.

$$$ Why is the project in two phases.... Phase 1 is 30 months and Phase 2 is 17 years? Is it because Phase1 is just an Experimental Phase?

$$$ Why is the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for just for one phase when the impacts would be longer than just phase 1?

$$$ Was the EIS peer reviewed by a panel of Internationally Recognized Panel of Experts in Seabed Mining, or related fields of science before being approved by the State?

$$$ Does the State have the capacity to independently monitor the mining activities and what protocols has the Inspector of Mines designed specifically for Undersea mining?

$$$ Does the State have the capacity to independently monitor the Environmental Impacts as they occur undersea... in fact, has the State collected its own Baseline Data of the area affected by the Solwara 1 project or is it reliant on data provided by the Company?

$$$ Indeed, on what baseline data or scientific knowledge of the area did the State base it's decision to grant the approval for mining? It's important that the State present it's body of scientific data as this would explain why despite calls by experts like Prof Chalapan from UPNG, for the application of the Precautionary Principle, the State has gone ahead with the approvals.

$$$ Given that the risks associated with this project are largely unknown, does the State have the capacity to handle, stop or mitigate any unforeseen disaster that may affect thousands of communities whose daily existence in intimately connected with the Bismark Sea?

$$$ Given that some argue that there will be economic benefits, one of the benefits if you like is that this first operation will generate enormous knowledge. The question that arises then is WILL PAPUA NEW GUINEANS! THROUGH THE STATE! OWN THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE! INCLUDING ANY OTHER DATA GENERATED OUT OF THIS PROJECT! In other words do Papua New Guineans own the intelletual property rights or are we just gonna be used as guinea pigs?

$$$ Finally, what sort of agreement does the State have with Nautilus Minerals and will the State make that agreement publicly available to the citizens of this country in the interest of transparency and accountability so that the citizens may know if the State made the agreement in the best interest of its citizens or has the State essentially allowed Nautilus to use PNG as its guinea pig with little benefit for the people? If there are confidentially clauses that prevent the release of the agreement, clearly the interests of PNG citizens aren't being served as they are essentially being kept in the dark on the matter.

??? Oh and be sure to ask the 'scientists' who provide 'expert opinion' at the forum if they are on the Government or Nautilus payroll or if they have any other conflict of interest they wish to declare?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Committee looks into PNG's Natural Resource Wealth and its utilization for Development

Above: The Chief Secretary Mr Zurenuoc and I

Below are the points I highlighted today at the first meeting of the National Steering Committee on the National Development Report on Human Development and Natural Resources.


No doubt, there are various indicators that show great socioeconomic disparities in PNG. And there has to be a concerted effort to improve those indicators. Maternal and Child mortality rates are shamefully high.

In my opinion, the well being of this nation is determined by the well being of its women. Women in PNG take care of their husbands, children and relatives everyday. In rural areas, they do most of the gardening, sago making, fishing, water collection, laundry and cooking. In urban areas, they either work in the formal economy or are engaged in street vending apart from their household chores. Since women are essentially keeping Papua New Guinean society afloat, one asks: "Is Papua New Guinean society taking care of its women folk?"

The high maternal mortality rates say a lot about how uncaring Papua New Guinean society is. The high rates of various forms of violence against women say a lot about how uncaring Papua New Guinean society. The low numbers of women in politics show how women are unable to participate in making important decisions that ultimately impact upon their lives the most.

Understanding the important role women play in society is necessary in this Committee's deliberations on sustainable development. In my opinion, PNG's Big Men and their Egoes are the cause of the deficiencies faced by the nation and it is the Women who will take a lead in translating National Wealth in improvements in National Wellbeing as they have been doing exactly that for the past 50 000 years that this land has been inhabited.

The Big Man's approach to development is to create Monuments while a Mother at home washes her child, nourishes her child, sends the child to school and the Child becomes a Medical doctor who solves a medical mystery and saves millions of lives.

Getting an appropriate definition of sustainable human development is therefore a difficult task for this Committee. The same road that transports coffee out of a community will be used to bring alcohol, drugs, arms and diseases back into the community. It is therefore not good enough to builds road without empowering communities to handle the social impacts of the road project.

I cannot talk about Sustainable Human Development without reflecting on Papua New Guinea's Five(5) National Goals and Directive Principles that are enshrined in the Constitution. I find in them the full expression of Sustainable Human Development. The Goals are;


Integral Human Development

Equality and Participation

National Sovereignty and Self Reliance

Wise use of Natural Resources

Papua New Guinean Ways


The NGDPs are a roadmap for sustainable human development. They are a step by step guide to those in charge of running this nation to go by.

The Founders of this nation recognized the importance of people in the matrix of development. People are key as they may make good use of opportunities or squander those opportunities. It is therefore unsurprising that the First NGDP calls for Intergral Human Development. People must be developed to have the capacity to translate opportunities into meaningful progress in society.

With the achievement of Intergral Human Development comes the capacity of this nation to shape its own destiny. Citizen Participation in nation building in crucial for sustainability of developmental activities. The Second NGDP highlights this. It is important to highlight here also that women are not equally participating and this has allowed BIG MEN with BIG EGOs run amok throughout PNG, ruining opportunities for real change.

National Sovereignity and Self Reliance per the Third NGDP is therefore a reflection of citizen participation in all aspects of human development. This allows for the nation to make important decision in its own best interest, rather than being bullied by foreign corporations, governments or organizations. It creates a Government that reflects the wishes and aspirations of its people, instead of a weak Government that can be easily manipulated to make decisions that are contradictory to the National Interest.

A nation that has a strong sense of security as per the Fourth NGDP can then manage its natural resources to serve its short, medium and long term interests well. The rate at which PNG's natural resources are being extracted is unsustainable and there seems to be very little consideration for future generations. Indeed PNG's own long term national security is undermined by a lack of adherence to the Fourth NGDP. The current situation has arisen as a result of windfall revenues from natural resources being squandered by the Papua New Guinean ruling elite - the Big Men with Big Egos.

The Fifth National Goal and Directive Principle is perhaps the most misunderstood probably because it is associated with Bernard Narakobi's Melanesian Way. Yet unlike Narakobi, it calls for Papua New Guinean, not Melanesian which is region specific as opposed to nation specific. Papua New Guinean Ways are not stuck in the past. One only has to look as how much plastic is integrated in traditional 'bilas' these days. Papua New Guinea is a modern state created in 1975. Papua New Guinean Ways are the contemprorary cultural narratives that define societies throughout this nation. Understanding and addressing these cultural narratives is key to ensuring community participation and ownership of development thus ensuring sustainability.

As highlighted in the Concept Paper and by general observation, economic growth in Papua New Guinea has not been translated into improvements in socio-economic indicators. Despite increases in revenue from the resource sector, the Government has failed to translate these windfalls into improving general Wellbeing of society.

Why is this so?

There are obvious governance issues that prevent conversion of the benefits from the resource sector into socioeconomic outcomes. The voluntary reporting of benefits paid to the National coffers by resource companies is a good step forward. However, the money trail still needs to be followed and reported upon to the general public. The National Economic and Fiscal Commission has been trying to do that but it's information has a limited reach and there as to be greater effort put into improving dissemmination of information related to budgetary expenditure.

The Office of Rural Development has been conducting audits of the spending of electoral funds. However good this information may be, it still needs to be made widely available to the electorates. People need to know how their money has been spent and those who have a tendency to misappropriate funds will be weary of the public finding out about their corrupt dealings.

The opportunity to make such information widely available presents itself on the Internet. Blogs and Social Networking sites are increasingly playing a Dorminant role in disseminating such information. They are free to use and can be utilized by Government Agencies and other parties interested in providing such information about expenditure of public monies.

Whilst Internet penetration in PNG is relatively low, the demography that is online consists of the key movers and shakers of Papua New Guineas National Conversation. It is these influential people who are key to driving this nation forward. They hold influential positions in Government, Churches, NGOs and the Private Sector. With the information provided to this demography, they will be capable of causing events that will change the course of this nation. The challenge is to provide them with the information that is necessary to bring about necessary civil society demands and actions to help this nation forward.

Whilst the above suggestion may sound elitist, it is also a reflection of the cultural narratives that define Papua New Guinean societies. BIG MEN with BIG EGOs run most aspects of life. In a very Hegellian way, order comes out of the chaos they create when their BIG MEN EGOs clash. The BIG MEN will always want to do what's right by their people when they're in a contest as shown by the political events that unfolded recently.

But as I've stated earlier, it is the same BIG MEN with BIG EGOs who are the problem. Thus the above approach only perpetuates the cycle. What is necessary though is the creation of the distribution of power by distributing wealth to be done by creating both Equality of Opportunities and Equality of Outcomes for Papua New Guinean citizens.


Creating an Equitable Society


Free Quality Education is key to creating an equitable society and breaking down the elitism that exist. An equitable society is one that not only has Equality of Opportunities but also Equality if Outcomes.

Children may have equality of Opportunity presented by Free Quality Education but whatever the outcomes of the education may be are determined by the child's social background. A child who comes from a well connected, moneyed family may for instance, be able to start her/his own business while a child who doesn't have such a social context may have difficulties doing so even if the former and latter both attained similar academic qualifications.

One can also note in terms of Women in Politics that whilst the women may have the Equality of Opportunity to contest the Elections, they do not have Equality of Outcome when it comes to having seats in Parliament. Despite being given the opportunity to contest elections, the outcome is that they are still poorly represented. One must therefore still seriously consider creating equality of outcome via affirmative action for women.

PNG's natural resource wealth must be used to create Equal Opportunities and Outcomes for all its citizens in all aspects of life. Therefore, Sustainable Human Development in PNG must be defined as, the creation of a fair and equitable society where all citizens are able to meaningfully participate in all aspects of social, cultural, economic and political affairs of the nation.

In order for such ideals to be realized, PNG's natural resource wealth must be controlled by its citizens. The reality is that much of the nation's natural resource wealth is foreign owned. This committee is deliberating on the wise use of a minor proportion of the wealth of this nation that trickles down into Government coffers. In other words, we're talking about utilizing only a small proportion of Papua New Guinea's natural resources wealth.

Let me clarify that I'm not necessarily advocating Government ownership of all resource projects. What I do want to see is the Government and citizens of PNG taking the lion's share in order to realize their aspirations for Sustainable Human Development. We see this in a way, with how wealth generated from Ok Tedi is being applied following the changes of its shareholding from being foreign focused to being more PNG focused. Ok Tedi's unique shareholding arrangement allows the wealth generated from the mine to be applied in developing PNG.

Majority foreign ownership of natural resource wealth is not in PNG's interest as the aspiration of the foreign investors to make a quick return on their investments does clash with Papua New Guinea's longterm aspiration to utilize its natural resources for Sustainable Human Development. The Bougainville conflict and the world class environmental disasters of the Fly and Watut Rivers highlight how the profit interest of foreign owners are being placed ahead of Sustainable Development interests of PNG.

Papua New Guineans must be in control of their natural resource wealth so that they may then apply it to serve their best interests. Once again, the notion of Equality of both Opportunity and Outcome apply here. If only a few powerful Papua New Guinean elite have control of the wealth of the nation, they will be as bad or worse than foreign owners. We've seen this manifest over the past decade, where the Papua New Guinean elite have squandered the wealth of the nation.

It is therefore imperative that there be Equality of Opportunity as well as Outcomes in considering the distribution of national resources wealth to the People of Papua New Guinea. And the way to ensure this is to adhere to the roadmap set out by the National Goals and Directive Principles. The NGDPs are a step by step guide to achieving Sustainable Human Development or the Papua New Guinean model of Development.

One of the Key considerations now is for the delivery mechanisms for achieving SHD. The delivery mechanism obviously encompass all parties with vested interest in resource projects. Apart from the Private Sector and Non Governmental Organization, the Government and it's citizens lack capacity and/or have governance issues that currently make them very inefficient in converting the wealth from resources into SHD. NGOs and the Private Sector can deliver but the sustainability of their projects depends on the Government and the People.

The people can be partners in development if given Opportunities and Outcomes to be involved. The creation of those Opportunities and Outcomes to participate in all aspects of development is a necessary prerequisite for SHD. No matter how much economic growth is achieved or Donor Funds and Loans are accessed for developmental purposes, all will be unsustainable if the people are unable to ensure continuity either by their direct ownership/management once the project is delivered or through the effective running of their government.


Thursday, September 6, 2012


Hi Everyone

I am returning to my home province. I came to Port Moresby in 2002, that's a decade ago and did Grade 9 at Port Moresby Grammar School. I continued to Grade 11 at Jubilee Catholic Secondary School and went to do Science Foundation at the University of Papua New Guinea in 2006.

I was fortunate to continue to Medical School and dropped out in 2009. Since 2009 life in Port Moresby has had various twists and turns. Selling betelnut (A Public Health Hazard) and writing kickass blogs (A Political Hazard) has got me to places I could never have imagined.

But even with the limelight of International recognition, there has been the dark side of living every day life in Port Moresby. As many of you may be aware, I have been clinically depressed these past few years. I know that the depression has been caused by the struggles of everyday life. Many city residents will also note that lately there has been a major crackdown on buai sellers like me.

The prevailing circumstances have made life in the city quite untennable. I've decided to move on. I'm going back home to the Western Province. I guess that's what PNGs middle class would like to see happen to all the 'unemployed' squatter settlers.

In some respects I am disappointed but one has to be pragmatic about life. Life as an idealist as actually been quite painful. Ultimately though, I've realized that there is so much others can do to help and the harsh reality is that we all have to fend for ourselves in order to survive.

It is this everyday struggle of life that breaks the human soul at a certain point. For some people, alcoholism, rascalism, or suicide are seen as a way out. For others, adaptation is needed to ensure that they survive. Whilst I have not been a huge fan of Social Darwinism, it is a practical reality to a certain extent. Unfortunately, I have had to adapt in order to survive the prevailing circumstances.

I have certainly enjoyed being part of the National discourse and have hopefully inspired a few Papua New Guineans to be independent thinkers.

I look forward to heading back to my home Province and lead a more private life. I know I have a lot to offer back home as well.

Western Province has the second lowest standard of education in the country. It also has the highest prevalence of Multi-Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR TB). Government services are non existent in some areas and the large complex geographical area presents enormous logistical challenges.

But the current political climate in the province also presents opportunities for constructive dialogue amongst all stakeholders for a way forward for the Province. I hope to join the development discourse when I go back home.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has been supportive of my blogging efforts. I wish you all the best in your endeavors.


Yours in service to humanity




Monday, September 3, 2012

Leadership failures impede progress in Western Province

Above: Chairman of OTML and PNGSDP, Prof Ross Garnaut makes a point to Ati Wobiro, Governor of Western Province, on board the Fly Explorer yesterday.

Yesterday, I was in Kiunga. I flew there from Tabubil in the morning to witness the launching of the Fly Explorer. The vessel was built in Malaysia at a cost of around USD 2.3 million using dividend funds from the various Ok Tedi related Trusts.

As I reported earlier, it will be leased by the Ok Tedi Development Foundation to Ok Tedi mine, to be used as a scientific research vessel to monitor the environment.

Apart from a few words from Managing Director of Ok Tedi, Mr Nigel Parker and the Governor of Western Province, basically reiterating their commitment to work together the opening remarks by one of the commounmity leaders struck me the most.

Nick Bun is the President of the Ok Tedi Mine Impact Area Association (OTMIAA). He spoke of the lack of capacity of leaders within various Trust Communities. Nick himself illustrated how much he lacked in his understanding of the machinations of Ok Tedi related community development activities. He seemed very stressed about the exhaustion of Trust Funds to purchase three vessels, the Fly Hope and the Fly Explorer as well as the bulk carrier, the Fly Warrior.

What he did not seem to understand was that although Trust Funds were exhausted in purchasing these vessels, they would be leased to Ok Tedi Mine, thus generating income.

Having said that, I am also concerned of a possible conflict of interest by Ok Tedi Mine and it's community development vehicle the Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF), in creating a scenario like that especially at a time when the Mine Lease Extension was being negotiated with affected communities and the 10th Supplementary Agreement regarding Ok Tedi Mine is up for negotiations.

This issue, highlights the lack of leadership in Western Province. Despite the questionable motive of investment, the fact of the matter is that the State, the Fly River Provincial Government and the Provincial Administration have failed in their fiduciary duty to the Trust Communities. The failure of Government Agencies to deliver much need services to Mine affected communities has compelled the miner Ok Tedi Mining Ltd to take a leading role, particularly in the North Fly region.

There was money meant for development projects in communities, just sitting in the bank while communities suffered the effects of the world's third largest environmental disaster. Clearly, someone had to do something, and the Ok Tedi Development Foundation was set up by the miner as an implementing agency for projects in Mine affected communities.

So I found myself sitting on the Fly Explorer nibbling finger food and wondering if the people along the Fly River have a development story they have to tell, or are they like the Western Province deer caught in the headlights of development and wondering what to do.

The master of ceremony for the Fly Explorer launching had died the night before the the day of launching. He was a broken man lost to alcoholism. His death highlighted the problem of alcoholism and incompetence amongst many Provincial leaders in politics and civil service.

According to Ian Middleton, the CEO of OTDF, 60 % of Western Province's Children do not complete grade 8 and the Province's education standards are regarded as the second lowest in the country. Health indicators are poor as well and health experts quietly express concern that province has the highest incidence of Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis in the World.

It is now up to the leaders of Western Province to create their own development agenda and work towards achieving it. The prospects look gloomy however. Having signed an Agreement with PNGSDP, Governor Wobiro is now keen on signing MOAs written by Ok Tedi and OTDF. The problem with this is that the Governor is essentially allowing these parties to dictate the development agenda as opposed to his administration.

The Governor and his advisory team (if any) must take this opportunity to dictate the terms to OTML, OTDF and PNGSDP, and not the other way around. It is critical, that Western Province's political elite, particularly the Members of Parliament, take the lead on developmental matters in order to ensure that there is a sense of ownership of the development agenda.

A sense of ownership, ensure sustainability of developmental activities. If there is no sense of initiative and therefore ownership: a project will fail, however well intentioned it may have been. It is up to the people of Western Province to develop their province: not Ok Tedi or PNGSDP. If they depend upon these entities to dictate the terms of development, they will never be masters of their own destiny.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sode to meet NEC regarding Oriomo SEZ

The world is about to discover a little backwater agriculture station that has been abandoned for decades is about to be jazzed up by the forces of globalization. Oriomo in the South Fly District of Western Province is about to be transformed into a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

David Sode, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP) Ltd announced this today to members of the Western Province, Provincial Executive Council (PEC). Mr Sode said that the proposed SEZ will be serviced by the Daru Deep Water Port to be also built by PNGSDP.

"It will transform this province. It will be as big as Ok Tedi", Mr Sode said with regards to the Oriomo Industrial Zone.

Mr Sode also highlighted the need to educate the Western Province population in preparation for such projects. "We need to get our children ready to participate in such activities," Mr Sode told the PEC members.

Next week Tuesday, Mr Sode and his team are expected to meet with the National Executive Council to present their case for Government support for the project. Mr Sode also pleaded for political support from Western Province Governor Ati Wobiro.

Such a project will need enabling legislation and fiscal incentives such as tax concession. A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is also commonly known as a Free Trade Zone. Such Industrial Zones have been credited with the raise of China as an Economic Power have made the phrase "Made in China" famous.

SEZs have also become infamous for sweat shops and poor standards, as is the case with the exploitation of Chinese workers and the poor quality Chinese goods sold around the world.


PNGSDP increasing its focus on Western Province

A development partnership agreement between the PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP) and the Fly River Provincial Government (FRPG) has been gathering dust for the past five years. Today, Governor Ati Wobiro, along with PNGSDP CEO David Sode and PNGSDP Chairman Ross Garnaut signed a Memorandum of Understanding that is expected to increase development co-operation between PNGSDP and the FRPG.

This year PNGSDP has increased its focus on Western Province, with an increase in its development budget. The shift in focus comes as it is increasingly becoming a major player in the resource exploitation sector. Earlier this year, PNGSDP acquired a stake in Highlands Pacific Ltd, at the behest of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd. Highlands Pacific owns a stake in the Frieda River Copper projects well as tenements 40 Km north of Ok Tedi mine, which could potentially be farmed into the existing mine processing facilities.

PNGSDP will also be undertaking Court proceedings against the National Forest Board and the State regarding the awarding of timber rights of the Wipim-Tapila Timber Project in South Fly. PNGSDP alleges that the National Forest Board was not consistent in applying its own bidding rules when it awarded the project to a Asian logging company. It is alleged that the National Forest Board had instructed bidders that the resource would have to be all processed onshore and later allowed the Asian logger to export round logs.

PNGSDP subsidiary, Cloudy Bay Sustainable Timber Company, had submitted its bid consistent with the Forestry Board's requirement of onshore processing and is therefore seeking relief in the courts.

This is not the first time that the Forestry Board has stuffed up in awarding Timber Bids. Recently, the Supreme Court awardedTimber Rights to Madang Timbers over Ramu Forest Management Area Project in Madang Province, over-rulling a Forestry Board decision that gave the Timber rights to another company.

Mr Sode, urged the Governor of Western Province to ensure that Western Province'snatural resources get processed with-in the province. The Oriomo Special Economic Zone and the Daru Deep Water Port would obviously facillitate any Industrial activity in the Province.

PNGSDP is currently having talks with Talisman Energy, to built a gas powered plant that would utilize gas from Talisman's Stanley Gas field, in Western Province. Mr Sode would also like to see all of Western Province's gas processed in the Province.

PNGSDP has taken a more comprehensive approach to dealing with investing in the Western Province. But even if this commercial ventures are successful, what still remains to be seen is the translation of wealth generated from these activities into improving the lives of the people of Western Province. The challenge that still remains is the creation of an appropriate model of development for Western Province.

Hopefully this time, all parties gathered here at the Tabubil golf course will get it right. Just down in the river valley adjacent to the golf course lies an ancient river that was violated and destroyed by a flawed model of development. In pursuing various commercial interests, there has to be careful consideration of their impact upon the full spectrum of life.


Dealing with Ok Tedi's destructive legacy

I am in Tabubil as a guest of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) to cover the launching of its environment monitoring vessel, the MV Fly Explorer, in Kiunga tomorrow. The vessel is worth around 2.3 million US bucks and is paid for by the Ok Tedi Trust Development Fund (OTDF). The vessel will be leased by OTDF to OTML to be used as a scientific research vessel to monitor damages caused along the Fly River by Ok Tedi mine.

OTDF was set up as an arrangement between OTML and PNGSDP. OTDF now receives funding from PNGSDP and the Western Province People's Dividend Trust Fund set up by State under Mining(Ok Tedi) Mine Continuation (Ninth Supplemental) Agreement) Act 2001.

In other words, OTDF has used Western Province people's money to buy a vessel to monitor damages to the Fly. It is expected that the money will be recouped as OTML makes lease payments for the use of the vessel.

Western Province's political elite are meeting Ok Tedi mine Officials today in Tabubil. The new Governor and the 3 Open Members of Parliament are expected to arrived at 10 am for a briefing at the Golf Club. They are then expected to witness the launching of MV Fly Explorer tomorrow.

Officials from PNG Sustainable Development Limited (PNGSDP) are also expected to be present today and tomorrow. PNGSDP was created by BHP Billiton as it exited it's world class mine in Western Province after creating a world class environmental catastrophe. It (PNGSDP) was created as part of a deal that prevents Western Province people from suing BHP Billiton for damages to the Fly River.

The damages to the Fly River ecosystems and the villages whose livelihoods depend on the Fly have been enormous. The PNG Government has recognized this by granting 5% equity in the mine to affected villages. The problem with equity arrangements like this is that the people only benefit if the miner makes a profit or if they sell their shares. It would have been much better for them to be given a certain percentage of export value of each copper shipment, fixed at the World Market Price.

OTML, which is now co-owned by the Government of Papua New Guinea and PNGSDP, has since been trying to reduce further damages to the Fly River. It has built a tailings disposal mechanism (previously tailings were directly discharged into the Fly River Tributriaries resulting in the Worlds Third Largest Environmental Catastrophe)

A tailings pipeline runs from the mine site at Tabubil to Bige. It is currently being replaced following a flaw in the pipeline that caused a major tailings spill last year.