In a statement, the Chamber labelled Governor Tongamp’s statement as factually incorrect and misleading.
“The new MRA Act passed by Parliament last year has removed all industry representation from the Board of the Mineral Resources Authority,” the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum said.
“The passage of the revised Act in February 2018 effectively removed the industry from the MRA Board.
“Therefore, claims by Jiwaka Governor Dr. William Tongamp in the newspaper on Monday 9th September that industry controls and manipulates MRA are factually incorrect and misleading.
“Furthermore, when the industry representatives sat on the MRA Board, they have always acted professionally and always in accordance with the Act. It is unfortunate that Governor Dr. Tongamp has cast aspersions on the reputation and good standing of many professional Papua New Guineans that serve on Boards like the MRA and other State authorities.”
The Chamber further dismissed claims by the Governor that information published by MRA following the slurry spillage at the Basamuk Bay were provided by the ‘industry players and not independent’.
“MRA and CEPA are independent regulators and our observation is that they have responded to this matter professionally and it is best that the Governor seeks clarification directly from State authorities,” stated the Chamber.
“It is best that Dr. Tongamp seeks clarification directly from State institutions on the process and procedure they have followed.
“We would welcome any opportunity to meet with Governor Tongamp to explain the role of the Chamber and the contribution the mining and petroleum sector makes to PNG’s economy as well as the wider sector through investments in health, education, training, landco companies and basic infrastructure across Papua New Guinea.”