GREENPEACE CLAIM ON PNG CYANIDE POISONING REJECTED

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 14, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The company behind a controversial gold mine in Papua New Guinea has rejected Greenpeace claims that the mine operators expect to obliterate local fish stocks.

The environment group says the day-to-day operations at Dome Resources' Tolukuma Gold Mine will wipe out all fish life for 30 kilometers (18 miles) and that the company knew that in the mine's planning stages.

Barry Bolitho, of parent company D-R-D Australasia, rejects the accusations.

"I think Greenpeace is quite incorrect in the claims they are making there" he said. "I don’t know who they've spoken to or how they have conducted their survey."

"All I can say is we comply within our license. Within our license we regularly monitor both the river systems around the mine, the soil and air etc, and I think the Greenpeace claims are just completely erroneous," he added.

Also, the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum says it wrong for Greenpeace to claim Australian companies are exploiting low regulatory standards in PNG.

"Well it's irrelevant whether you are a foreign company or not," said Executive Director Greg Anderson. "I mean there is a set process and a lot of this publicity by certain NGO's gives the impression that Papua New Guinea has no process at all and that foreign companies in this case can do what they like. Which is totally, totally false.

For additional reports from Radio Australia/Pacific Beat, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia/Pacific Beat.

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