MARTYN NAMORONG | Namorong Report
Located at the boundary of the highlands provinces of Enga and Hela Provinces, the gold rich region of Mt Kare has suffered from the titanic clash of a modern gold rush mixed with complex claims of traditional ownership over the gold.
Indochine Mining is the 100% owner of the Mt Kare project. But of course, the question of ownership isn't as straight forward as acquiring shares and pieces of paper confirming ownership.
Indochine now has to deal with the local claimants, whose claims are mixed into the mythological landscape that defines the physical landscape.
The Mt Kare resource lies 15 kilometers south west of the Porgera gold mine and is estimated to contain 1.8 million ounces of gold. Acquiring this gold will require obtaining the social license of local landowners.
According to reports coming in from Mt Kare, a land investigation team has now been mobilized on site. The team consist of police and land specialist who will walk the land boundaries of traditional landowners and map them out.
Last Tuesday a contingent of 105 Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary led by Inspector Spencer Gelo paraded in front of a crowd of local people and mine workers. A traditional ceremony involving the slaughter of 20 pigs is expected soon where local people formally accept the boundary survey team who will compile the land investigation report.
The report will facilitate the discussions between local landowners, the government of PNG and Indochine Mining about the sharing of the wealth from Mt Kare.