Tuke unaware of locals’ ultimatum

The Mining Minister says he has not received any formal notice from landowners of the Tolukuma Gold Mine regarding the ultimatum issued for the withdrawal of the mining licence from operator Asidokona.

Johnson Tuke said he was not aware of it when contacted by Loop PNG.

Yesterday, chairman of the Yulai Landowners Group, George Gusi, announced on social media the ultimatum, which lapses on Nov 20, for the withdrawal of the licence from Asidokona.

When contacted by Loop PNG, he said landowners would shut the mine down if the ultimatum was not met.

Gusi claims Asidokona does not have the capacity to operate the mine.

The chairman previously snubbed the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

However, speaking from his electorate in Kainantu, Minister Tuke said he will need to confirm with his ministry staff if any correspondence had gone through while he was away.

The Minister is currently carrying out his electorate and ministerial duties.

Meanwhile, return to production for the Tolukuma Gold Mine has been problematic.

Last month the Mineral Resources Authority stated that tenement, regulatory and funding issues have stalled production.

Loop PNG is awaiting a response from the MRA.

(Picture: US Embassy PNG)

Related article:

Locals threaten to shut mine down http://www.looppng.com/node/69398

Cedric Patjole