I am Reuben, the Interim President of Union of Watut River Communities. An organization that is representing the people along the Watut River where the Hidden Valley Mine is operating. Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV), the company operating the mine, is owned 50% by Newcrest Mining(Australian based) and 50% by Harmony Mining (South African based).
There is already a huge environmental damage to the river system. Mine run-offs and overflows are allowed directly into the Watut River system. The River was most importantly known for its white water rafting and is regarded one of the most fast flowing river within the Southern Hemisphere. Tourist all over the world have been visiting the river.
All these potentials are now gone!
People (children, men, women and old people) are getting rashes due to the pH and alkalinity variations from the river. Food crops are not giving good yields, the alluvial miners are not getting much as they used to before. The silts are covering the once fertile top soil for gardening and the river banks are overflowing and flooding gardens. The river itself is very dirty/murky and filled with contaminated sediments daily….
I am very keen to at least raise this awareness when the 2010 Mining Conference is held down in Sydney between December 6 – 8, 2010. Due to financial difficulty, I cannot make it.
Is there any way we can get all the Papua New Guineans living and working within the vicinity of Sydney to mobilise and put-up some bill boards or placards about the “unsafe, unethical, immoral acts”, that are being caused by those mining giants???
Just a peaceful protest because the PNG Prime Minister will also be there. If more information is needed, I will try to supply.
Have a read and let me know your thoughts. Your help in anyway would greatly be appreciated.