Mining huge Rio Tinto is experiencing accusations that a mine it deserted in Papua New Guinea two many years ago is leaking poisonous waste into rivers.
More than 150 men and women residing in Bougainville have filed a criticism with the Australian authorities.
They say that squander from the copper and gold mine is resulting in overall health complications for 12,000 folks dwelling nearby.
The mining firm says it is willing to talk to the current owners of the Panguna mine and the regional local community.
It comes right after Rio Tinto’s manager and two other senior executives resigned earlier this thirty day period following the information that the corporation experienced ruined sacred Aboriginal web pages in Pilbara, Western Australia.
“Our rivers are poisoned with copper, our properties get stuffed with dust from the tailings mounds, our youngsters get sick from the pollution,” said Theonila Roka Matbob, a traditional landowner and member of the neighborhood parliament in Bougainville.
The Panguna mine was one particular of the region’s largest for copper and gold in the 1970s and 1980s, but common anger among the community communities over environmental injury and distribution of gains compelled its closure far more than two many years back.
Rio Tinto handed its stake in the mine to the govt of Papua New Guinea four many years back, but lots of truly feel the company should still just take responsibility for cleaning up the web-site.
“These are not difficulties we can resolve with our bare palms. We urgently will need Rio Tinto to do what’s proper and offer with the disaster they have remaining behind,” Ms Matbob claimed.
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A spokesman for the British-Australian company informed the Sydney Early morning Herald that it was prepared to interact with the community local community.
“We are aware of the deterioration of mining infrastructure at the website and encompassing regions, and statements of ensuing adverse environmental and social, including human rights, impacts,” a spokesman informed the newspaper.