Monday, October 26, 2009

Law on mining and Anderson's lies

By James Wanjik, Former Secretary for Mining


THE PATRIMONY the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum and its Executive Director and a co-foundation board member of a counterfeit regulator of mines in Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) Greg Anderson had on mine-related issues in PNG are and will be increasingly questioned and challenged by leaders. No law and lies of Greg Anderson will stop the wind of change that is turning into a tornado.

Time was when law and lies of the miners and their Chamber were taken as gospel truth. No more.

While the current debate on Resource Ownership Bill before Parliament is in my considered view not properly and carefully stated, it is rather a matter for PNG leaders and the people of this country to decide whether a change in mineral policy and law is needed or not.

Greg Anderson is a foreigner meddler in a PNG people’s issue of their national heritage. None is more daring as his dangerous law and lies on the law on mineral ownership and regulation of mines.

I am known and either loved or loathed for my legal knowledge, experience and skills in mineral and hydrocarbon law, policy and practice in PNG.

Greg Anderson knows that. Had he and Graeme Hancock now at World Bank in Washington been dealing with other resources lawyers they would have silenced them with any number of inducements. One just has to look at MRA and its offshoot the new Department of Mineral Policy and Geological Hazard (DMPGH). The truth is out.

The mineral resource ownership issue is supposedly the responsibility of the new DMPGH to address but it is in a conflict of interest. Likewise, the matter of regulation is supposedly for the MRA to deal with. The influence Greg Anderson has in MRA and DMPGH and the moneys put in the MRA till and World Bank Loan for DMPGH put together by Graeme Hancock in late 2005 and early 2006 and put in MRA to avoid PNG’s procurement law tells of huge fraud and corruption in mining business.

Having an informed debate is an absolute necessity. PNG lawyers must take serious interest in mining law, policy and practice. Making money for pride and ego will not replace our way of life. Land, resources and people have symbiotic relationship since time immemorial. Blood bound them and land cemented them. Resources and their utilisation were for communal and tribal purposes and livelihood.

Greg Anderson comes from a culture of private and individual progress. It is a double for Mohammad Bashir and Greg Anderson to choose a worthless title; “Private resource ownership ‘bad’” and give a bad law and lies Anderson is known for.

I have a number of experiences Greg Anderson and Graeme Hancock have been involved in to undermine my assistance to the mining industry.

MRA is a bad law for PNG. I warned the Government and the Government listened to Greg Anderson and Graeme Hancock. I paid with position, pay and privileges.

I advised Graeme Hancock and Kuma Aua the then Secretary for Mining and now PNG’s Ambassador to South Korea in Seoul that Bougainville is different from other provinces that it has mining powers since 2001 Peace Agreement.

Instead of exempting Bougainville from the MRA law, Graeme Hancock, Greg Anderson and other co-advisers to the former Minister for Mining Sam Akoitai convinced him to present to the Cabinet and Parliament MRA Bill with 9 clauses and 15 issues on Panguna mine.

If I had not warned the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), MRA would have seen Bougainville walk right back to the Panguna mine-related crisis.

The ABG leaders confided in me that Akoitai had lied to them about me. On 10 December 2008 two village elders from Buin in South Bougainville met me on arrival in Buka airport car-park. They had come from Buin just to see who I was and to let me know that Akoitai had been to their area and used my name to be the President of Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Akoitai lost after the Buin people knew the truth.

In 2000 I had been appointed Acting Director for Mining at which time I was also heading an inter-agency team on a number of new policies. Among these the key ones were Offshore Minerals Policy, Mine Closure and Sustainability Planning Policy, Marine Scientific Research Consent Regime and Regional Maritime Boundaries Project Technical Group. The Marine Scientific Research Consent Regime was a success. The Maritime Boundaries Project is also a success.

The Offshore Minerals Policy and the Mine Closure and Sustainability Policy were hijacked by Graeme Hancock without notice. Offshore Minerals Policy was up to now delayed by Graeme Hancock. I approached the lawyers engaged by the World Bank. They said this would require huge work. It was revealed subsequently that the moneys for the work on the Offshore Minerals Policy were moved to other areas of World Bank operations. It is a mystery.

Mine Closure and Sustainability Planning Policy and the “Bill” for it was done. Politics of miners did not see it realised. Their view was one of undermining people of PNG. The view of the miners was PNG was not about end of mining at some point in time. Mine Closure Planning was a bad policy that would confuse people of PNG was the patronising position of the miners. As a Papua New Guinean driving this policy I knew that I was exposing one of the most important issues of under development that had eluded PNG for decades of mining.

I kept my professional integrity unlike other lawyers only because Graeme Hancock could not buy my nationalism and national pride. He knew this from the time of my transfer to the Department of Mining from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in March 1998.          

I was using my own private vehicle to and from work and for work runs and Graeme Hancock seeing other nationals’ vulnerability in similar situation as the one I was in tried his bait but I had been in a Senior Management position before that so I told him that I was not in a Senior Management position at the Department of Mining to be entitled to an official vehicle or an allowance in lieu.

Graeme Hancock told me that he could do it with ease. That was when Graeme Hancock knew that I had been using my own vehicle since 1992 to and from work and for work runs. During those years not once at any time have I asked or even been paid for use of my private vehicle for work.

In 2001 when I applied for the Director for Mining position I was the most qualified and experienced national among the applicants.

Graeme Hancock knew that I was the most feared professional. If I had won the position he would not have had the ease that he had from 2000 – late 2005 and first quarter of 2006.

In late December 2005 the lobby for the position of Secretary for Mining had intensified in Cabinet. Graeme Hancock had his hope in Kuma Aua dashed when the Cabinet knew of total incompetence in mineral regulation.

Graeme Hancock then tried his very best to get to Bougainville and into Panguna mine on a K 6 million Letter of Engagement. He would probably now know that I advised the Government not to proceed with the Letter of Engagement. Lot of leaders would have lost their integrity if I had not given the advice.

Akoitai did not know that I had landed the Secretary for Mining on 8 December 2005. He was not interested in the Department of Mining by then.

Akoitai was arrogant and egoistic so much so he allowed Graeme Hancock who was a master at manipulating laws, leaders and public servants to manipulate and control him. So Akoitai got Speaker of Parliament to certify the MRA Act 2005 on 23 December 2005.

After the Prime Minister had resumed duties Akoitai advised the Head of State to commence operation of the MRA Act 2005 on 24 January 2006 backdated to be effective on 1 January 2006. This the Minister for Mining had no power to do. It was a fraud on Prime Minister’s powers. Fraud is a legal ground to void the MRA.   

Prior to my appointment as Secretary for Mining I warned the Government to remove Kuma Aua as Secretary and Graeme Hancock as his adviser. Kuma Aua had no support from the Government. Graeme Hancock was now powerless. When I became Secretary for Mining I gave him notice under his consultancy contract that he should be preparing to leave as I as the Supervisor of the World Bank Loan at the Mines Department would not be recommending renewal of his contract. Graeme Hancock left in a most humiliating way five days prior to expiry and without a project closure report. Auditor General’s Office and their contracting auditors tried in vain to have me release Graeme Hancock from legal and financial implications on his project management of the World Bank Loan at the Department of Mining. Any thorough audit will show that I nailed Graeme Hancock at his game.

Now Graeme Hancock will regret influencing Nellie James, Philip Samar, Shadrach Himata, Ron Gawi, Janet Amean, Stevie Nion and Valentine Kambori and Joshua Kalinoe for removing me in December 2006 and the subsequent smothering of the Department of Mining in 2007. Politics of MRA has only been in the simmers. It will reach boiling point very very soon. When it does the MRA will blame the moles of World Bank and the moles will expose Graeme Hancock for manipulating and controlling them.

Waiting on God paid off. We won gold medal.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:51 AM

    The sad fact James, is that for all your rantings about how bad other people are YOUR conduct in public office was both corrupt and utterly inept.
    In short, you failed in your duty to manage the Department of Mines.
    You achieved nothing but failure.
    Face the fact, you were removed for incompetance AND in PNG you have been really really incompetant to ;lose your job.
    You now suffer from what is clearly a psychiatric condition as a result of being compelled by reality to reconcile your ego against the fact that you are just not what you claim to be.
    And you are utterly hopeless as a lawyer to boot