A peer reviewed, international standard Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was completed in 2013, with project updates captured in an Environmental Impact Statement Addendum in 2018 to ensure that the project will be delivered responsibly.
The Geopacific Board has approved Environment, Community, Human Rights and Mine Closure policies.
An Environmental and Social Impact Assessments completed and Environmental and Social Management System developed in line with IFC performance standards and the Equator Principles.
Engaging with our communities
Extensive and ongoing community engagement has taken place over a number of years to ensure familiarity and understanding of potential impacts and benefits of the Woodlark Gold Project on the local community.
An extensive survey commenced in the June 2021 quarter to provide valuable information around the existing skill set and potential of the local workforce, while specialist Papua New Guinea based consultants have been engaged to assist and provide training to local landowners in relation to business establishment, management and governance.
Commitment to provide positive and lasting benefits
In October 2020, an updated MoA was initialled by the Woodlark Gold Project area landowners, the National, Provincial and Local Level Governments and Woodlark Mining Limited. The MoA is designed to define the distribution of project royalties once production commences, and outlines the commitments of all stakeholders to ensure that the economic benefits flow to the people of Woodlark Island and the broader region, including employment and business opportunities and appropriate management of environmental and social impacts.
Housing and infrastructure projects
An important aspect of the Woodlark Gold Project is the relocation of the Kulumadau community which includes the construction of the relocation houses.
We have prioritised the use of local labour to ensure that the primary stakeholders in the project receive tangible benefits and to promote “ownership” of the build process and resultant dwellings and community buildings,with upskilling of the local community developing skills locally which will allow the community to maintain and expand houses in the future.
Training and Development
Geopacific enjoys an active and strong relationship with the communities living on Woodlark Island and is committed to maximising local training and employment as well as local business development.
It is the intention of the Company to foster the development and capacity of the local people in the communities we operate in. One example of our commitment to onsite training is the Chainsaw training course provided to 14 local Woodlark community members, of which 10 were previously unemployed. The training courses ensured safe operation of the machinery and provided a skill for local community members to deploy on the island.
Geopacific provides support for the local and provincial health services with the delivery of important health initiatives on Woodlark Island, particularly recently in relation to COVID-19. The company is constructing a new aid post and a house for health workers as part of the relocation program and will continue to support the Provincial Health Authority to improve health outcomes for the people of Woodlark.