Papua New Guinea cabinet votes against copper mine

Published: Saturday 15 July 2006

Surplus to requirement A daily newspaper of Papua New Guinea recently said cabinet members voted to shut down a copper mine situated in the Star mountains. The mine is operated by Ok Tedi Mining Limited.

This decision was taken after the company failed to come up with a practical environment management plan. Both the government and the company are under pressure from environmentalists to look for a solution to the mine's increasing acid rock drainage, which is damaging ecosystems along the Ok Tedi and Fly rivers.

Executive director Techa Beaumont of the Mineral Policy Institute, an Australian advocacy group, supports the government's decision. She said the government needs to weigh long-term damage to the environment against short-term economic gains. Government officials have denied that they have decided to shut the mine.

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