MRA Chief Warden

The Chief Warden and Wardens are statutory office holders appointed by the Director (Managing Director of MRA) under the Mining Act 1992 (Act). The Wardens’ roles are as specified in the Act.

The main role of the Warden is the conduct of warden’s hearing. The warden’s hearing is a public forum held, in respect of all tenement applications, at the site of the tenement application to gauge the views of the parties that may be affected by the activities associated with the tenement application. The parties are the landowners or landholders of the land the tenement overlies, the local government and provincial governments. With 97% of the land in PNG owned by the traditional landowners who live on the land, the warden’s hearing is essential. It serves as a means of negotiating access license for the area for the purpose of the tenement under application.

The account of deliberations from the warden’s hearing, including oral and written objections are collated by the warden and presented before the Mining Advisory Council in assisting it in its deliberations on and advice to the Mining Minister on the tenement application.

The Chief Warden’s other role is in the reviewing of compensation agreements that are entered into between the proponent of a mining project and the owners of the land over which the mining lease covers. Compensation agreement is a prerequisite for any mining development and the chief warden plays an important role in ensuring the agreement is in order for it to be registered, paving the way for the mining development.

Another of the Chief Warden’s role is in making a determination on the compensation amount payable in the event of a dispute. On notification of the dispute by the tenement holder or the compensation claimant, the Chief Warden calls a determination meeting. The Chief Warden hears the arguments and makes a determination based on the evidences presented to him.

The determination by the Chief Warden is final and any grievances arising from the determination can be referred to the National Court of PNG.