Danaya wants new mining agency junked

Danaya wants new mining agency junked

WESTERN province Governor Dr Bob Danaya has called for the immediate abolition of the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA).

Dr Danaya said the setting up of MRA was improper and also criticised the Mining Department for the exploitation of landowners’ mineral resources.

”Parliament had bulldozed the legislation without any serious thought on the implications it would create on the Mining Department and the industry,” he said in a statement.

Dr Danaya noted the leaders did not realise the proposed legislation to establish MRA never went through the Mining Department for its input and was drafted by outsiders ”who intend to control the local mining industry”.

He directed his statements to Mining Minister Sam Akoitai, saying the Mr Akoitai ”ought to be cautious when handling and accepting such proposals and ill-advice”.

Mining Secretary James Wanjik said Dr Danaya’s views ”are truthful” and ”of major importance”.
However, he said Mr Akoitai had no political and statutory responsibility over the MRA or the MRA Act 2005.

This, he said, was clearly confirmed under the determination of titles and responsibilities of ministers made by the Prime Minister per National Gazette No. G155 of Aug 10, 2006.

Mr Wanjik also added the minister had been working with the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum to set up and put into operation MRA without seeking and relying on professional advice from the Department of Mining.

Mr Akoitai has said that once MRA is established, the mining advisory council that replaced the mining advisory board as a result of the amendments to the Mining Act by the MRA Act will then be put in place.

Mr Wanjik said the department was awaiting response from the State Solicitor’s Office along with that of first legislative counsel after seeking advice on serious and substantial constitutional law, other legal, financial, and practical issues and difficulties associated with the MRA and the MRA Act 2005.

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