The National (via Papua New Guinea Mine Watch)
The students presented the petition to officials in East New Britain last Friday.
The state team comprised of representatives from the Mineral Resources Authority, Department of Environment and Conservation, Department of Justice and Attorney-General and Department of Treasury and provincial administrator Akuila Tubal.
Last Thursday, students took part in a peaceful protest march to carry out awareness on environmental issues they felt the government had not considered thoroughly before giving Nautilus Minerals a licence for the project.
People were called on to support the initiative by Northern Governor Gary Juffa to take legal action against Nautilus and the State to stop Solwara 1 from going ahead.
The students collected K289 from the public appeal and were given K771 by the university on behalf of the students association to be deposited in a Yariyari Lawyers Trust account 1008929331 BSP Port Moresby.
The appeal for donations will continue.
Last Friday’s meeting at the university lecture hall was peaceful but state agencies could not immediately provide a formal answer to the petition.
Instead, the team told students they would like to continue dialogue and would return to the university with a response soon, this time with a team from Nautilus.
MRA officers told the meeting the Solwara project had been issued with a mining lease. They said under the Mining Act, there was no specific policy relating to undersea mining and there had been a push by the government to draw up legislation as soon as possible.
In the petition, the students expressed concern that there were already enough mines on land in the country but social indicators showed there was no real development taking place.