Digicel Pacific to be Acquired by Telstra
by PNG Business News - October 26, 2021
Photo credit: BBC
Telstra has announced that it will buy Digicel Pacific for $US1.6 billion, plus up to an additional US$250 million based on business performance over the next three years, subject to government and regulatory approvals.
In its six South Pacific markets – Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu – Telstra, Australia's leading telecommunications and technology company, will continue to invest in and operate the business under the Digicel brand name.
Telstra International CEO Oliver Camplin-Warner said the agreement will allow Telstra to expand on Digicel Pacific's regional leadership and increase mobile connectivity in Papua New Guinea.
“Denis O’Brien and the Digicel team have built a phenomenal business that’s centred on providing exceptional customer service, the best coverage and leading digital experiences. Telstra will add to these strengths and the team’s local knowledge with our more than one hundred years’ experience connecting the vast expanses of Australia to continue delivering great experiences for Digicel’s customers across the Pacific.”
“We have 19.5 million retail mobile customers in Australia and our 4G network is the largest and most reliable in country. It covers some of the remotest parts of Australia – from the coast, to the outback and the Torres Strait Islands, just off the coast of Papua New Guinea. And we’re in the process of building Australia’s largest 5G network that now stretches to more than 240 towns and 75 per cent of the population,” Camplin-Warner said.
There will be no employment losses in the region as a result of the transaction, and the present Digicel Pacific team will continue to manage the company on a day-to-day basis. Denis O'Brien, the current owner of Digicel, will continue on the Board of Directors.
“We will invest our know-how and capital to further expand coverage and over time bring the benefits of 5G to Papua New Guinea. But we’ll retain the same Digicel brand the people of PNG know and love today with the same team and services they have come to rely on,” Mr Camplin-Warner said.
The purchase, according to Camplin-Warner, is in line with Telstra International's expansion plan, which now comprises operations in 20 countries outside of Australia and thousands of clients, including businesses, governments, and some of the world's largest technology firms.
“Beyond Australia Telstra also has the most extensive subsea telecommunications cable network in the Asia Pacific. And we’re one of the biggest providers of voice and data services connecting the South Pacific to the rest of the world through our Southern Cross cable.”
“Network traffic is growing faster than at any other period of time and digital technology is changing our world. We are at the centre of this, and so is Digicel Pacific. We are committed to delivering the best technology on the best network for PNG,” Mr Camplin-Warner said.
The people and businesses of PNG will benefit from Telstra's experience rolling out a world-class 5G network and connecting diverse geographies, according to Colin Stone, CEO of Digicel Papua New Guinea.
“Telstra’s network innovation has played a critical part in Australia being ranked first in the global Mobile Connectivity Index which assesses networks based on performance, affordability and availability. We look forward to working with Oliver and the Telstra team,” Mr Stone said.
The two firms' ideals, according to Camplin-Warner, were likewise matched.
“Digicel Pacific and Telstra are both committed to building a connected future so everyone can thrive and this includes supporting some of the most vulnerable in our communities.”
“Digicel Pacific has taken community development to the next level through the Digicel Foundation’s investment in health, education and community-based programs. We look forward to continuing this work, just as we do today with the Telstra Foundation and its commitment to using technology to support young people and help to reduce the digital divide.”
“We will also bring a commitment to addressing climate change to help drive better environmental outcomes for the people of PNG,” Mr Camplin-Warner said.
Despite the fact that the transaction is funded by the Australian government, Telstra will remain the only owner and operator of the company.
Reference: Loop (October 25, 2021). “Australia’s biggest telecommunications company to acquire Digicel Pacific”.
PNG Business News - October 27, 2021
PRIME MINISTER MARAPE WELCOMES ANNOUNCEMENT OF ACQUISITION OF DIGICEL PACIFIC BY TELSTRA
Photo credit: Herald Sun Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP acknowledged the Telstra announcement through a Market Release on the 25th of October 2021 that Telstra will acquire Digicel Pacific. He acknowledged that this is a commercial transaction that has been concluded under the present regulatory environment which encourages investments in the sector. The Prime Minister welcomes the investment of up to K4.9 billion (Au$1.85 billion) and stated that all Government and regulatory approvals will take their normal course for the acquisition to be completed. He acknowledged the massive involvement of Export Finance Australia in this transaction. This was expressed during a recent meeting between the Prime Minister and Telstra Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Andrew Penn. Prime Minister Marape also thanked Mr. Denis O’Brien and Digicel for their investment and dedication to Papua New Guinea since they came into the market in 2007. Papua New Guinea is Digicel’s most successful market in the Pacific. It has the largest market share in Papua New Guinea, and its takeover by a substantial reputable communications company in the region, ensures that there is continuity in the services that support such critical sectors as financial services and banking. In a letter to Mr. O’Brien today Mr. Marape said: “Digicel has been responsible for significant direct and indirect economic and social development across the country. Digicel connected towns and villages, friends and family. It was Digicel which redefined what mobile telephony meant for our people, and opened up the different market segments that no one thought existed.” Prime Minister Marape also thanked Telstra for its investment and looked forward to plans to develop the network further, for the betterment of the citizens of Papua New Guinea. The Prime Minister has asked Telstra to consider future ownership structures which could represent strong and reputable participation of Papua New Guinea institutions and investors, leveraging off on the strong branding that Telstra brings to the market, and on commercial terms. The Government has recently paved the way for the partial privatisation of state-owned telecommunication assets through comprehensive reform and the merger of the retail communications companies. Domestic institutional investors will take up majority share and Board control, with Government having limited control and passive shareholding. The Prime Minister stressed that telecommunications services are critical to Papua New Guinea’s social and economic development. “Our government remains steadfast in its determination to further liberalise our communications market, through increased competition. We have invested heavily in communications because of the benefits to our citizens through the development of more affordable, reliable, and accessible networks.” “The cooperation between Telstra and the Australian Government should provide opportunities for the increased use of state-owned wholesale assets to meet service requirements for the betterment of telecommunications across the country,” stated the Prime Minister. There is an expectation that wherever possible infrastructure sharing will be encouraged, reducing the need to erect several towers at the same location. Telikom will welcome the opportunity to collocate on Digicel infrastructure”. Article courtesy of the Department of Prime Minister & National Executive Council
PNG Business News - December 02, 2021
Adyton Resources hits significant copper at Feni Island, Papua New Guinea
Photo credit: Adyton Resources Adyton Resources Corporation has reported significant copper assays at its 100% owned Feni Island Project (Feni) in Papua New Guinea following the completion of the company’s maiden drilling program of five diamond holes (1,982m) in September. The initial objectives of the program were to expand the gold resource as well as test various induced polarisation (IP) anomalies for the potential of a copper porphyry system. Multi-element assays have now been returned with significant copper intersections being recorded from hole ADK004 in two zones – a shallower disseminated zone of copper mineralisation followed by a zone of massive sulphide copper mineralisation: Disseminated Cu + Au: • 35.9m (70.7 to 106.6m) @ 0.3% Cu & 1.1g/t Au Massive sulphide Cu + Au: • 6.4m (149.7 to 156.1m) @ 5.1% Cu & 1.6g/t Au Incl 3.6m (151.5 to 155.1m) @ 6.9% Cu & 2.1g/t Au Incl 0.7m (154.4 to 155.1m) @ 14.5% Cu & 2.4g/t Au Adyton Resources President, Executive Chairman and CEO, Mr Frank Terranova, said the assay results demonstrated Feni’s significant copper potential. “The results confirm that Feni could contain zones of high-grade copper within the extensive gold mineralisation and this confirmation of massive sulphide copper in the system justifies more work which is currently being planned,” Mr Terranova said. “The recent drilling program has highlighted the potential for a significant discovery to be made in the 1.5km long Kabang structural corridor. The corridor is lightly drilled, and going north is covered by younger volcanic cover, which has hindered previous exploration efforts – a focus of the next program will be exploring under this younger cover.” Located in a Tier 1 region along a mineral belt containing the world class Simberi, Lihir, and Panguna gold and copper projects, Mr Terranova added that the model at Feni was for a “Lihir-style” epithermal gold overprint on a deeper porphyry copper system.
PNG Business News - November 30, 2021
Weir Minerals’ new Trio® TC84XR live-shaft cone crusher improves safety, functionality and reliability
Weir Minerals has upgraded its range of Trio® TC live-shaft cone crushers. The Trio® TC84XR features all the robust design elements that have made live-shaft crushers a fixture of the mining and sand and aggregate industries for generations, while also incorporating the latest technology to ensure it remains integral to flowsheets long into the future. ‘The Trio TC cone crushers’ live-shaft design has been proven to perform in heavy-duty secondary and tertiary crushing applications. We wanted to build on this strong foundation. My team followed a comprehensive design process – we’ve reviewed and tested every inch of this crusher. While the TC84XR may seem familiar on the outside, we’ve upgraded its design and control functionality. The motor is larger and it has a much higher crushing capacity compared to equivalent sized crushers,’ Mark Utecht, Weir Minerals’ Director of Comminution Engineering said. ‘The result: we now have an incredibly robust, powerful and technologically advanced crusher that is easy to operate, has a low wear rate and uses less energy, which ultimately lowers operating costs,’ he said. While many OEMs have made the decision to discontinue their live-shaft cone crushers, Weir Minerals has resisted this trend, believing that – because every mining and sand and aggregate operation is different – there can’t be a one-size-fits all approach. Instead, Weir Minerals partners with its customers and empowers them to choose the machine best suited to their crushing needs. There are some applications and situations where pedestal (fixed-shaft) style crushers may be the more appropriate solution, which is why Weir Minerals continues to manufacture the premium Trio® TP pedestal style machine. Weir Minerals is the only global equipment manufacturer that offers both the TC live shaft and TP fixed shaft style machines. ‘The combination of the Trio TP and TC fixed and live-shaft cone crushers ensures that Weir Minerals continue to offer their customers the right technology, regardless of their site structure, operating conditions or application,’ Mark Utecht, Weir Minerals’ Director of Comminution Engineering said. Trio® live- and fixed-shaft cone crushers are made for modern mines and quarries with advanced hydraulics, wear resistant material and the latest technology. ‘This is really exciting for our customers, as they now have a real choice. The combination of our TC and TP series allows us to have an honest conversation with our customers on the options available to them and make a technological recommendation which truly meets their needs,’ Ekkhart Matthies, Weir Minerals’ Global Application Director said. Replacing existing live-shaft style machines on site with the Trio® TC84XR crusher is now a straightforward process because it has very similar dimensions and is a comparable weight to its live-shaft predecessors. And because it produces the same product, downstream changes aren’t required, which isn’t the case when replacing a live-shaft style machine with a fixed-shaft style machine. In other words, there is no need to re-design existing circuits. Technology upgrades The recent technology upgrades in the Trio® TC84XR crusher have improved its safety, functionality and reliability. ‘At Weir Minerals, we understand and appreciate the important role live-shaft cone crushers play in today’s challenging crushing applications. Combining decades of experience and first-hand customer feedback with innovative designs, the highest quality materials and latest in control technology we believe that our new Trio TC84XR cone crusher is the most reliable and robust live-shaft cone in the market today’ Ekkhart Matthies, Weir Minerals Global Application Director said. Engineered to perform in the most extreme applications, the Trio® TC84XR crusher is robust and easy to maintain and operate. It reliably delivers high crushing force and high horsepower in primary, crushed ore and quarry rock applications. The ability of the TC84XR crusher to handle variable feed and crush pebbles is also partly a result of its large motor; it’s been designed with higher power capability than comparable cone crushers. Ultimately, this translates to a higher potential crushing force and therefore increase in production. Another feature that allows it to handle variable feed, as well as deal with tramp material safely, is the fully-automated tramp-release and setting recovery system. The tramp release hydraulics can also be used to safely clear the crushing chamber should a sudden disruption in plant power cause a shut-down of the cone crusher. The socket assembly has been redesigned to improve sealing, which has optimised functionality and manufacturability by reducing the machining setups of the socket and seal rings. The Weir Minerals comminution team has also redesigned the countershaft assembly to remove welding and machining, while simultaneously improving venting and the dust seal. The Trio® TC84XR crusher, like the range of TP series cone crushers, can be fitted with ESCO® wear parts, designed with superior ESCO® alloys, they can be custom designed based on your specific requirements. With over 100 years of casting expertise and in-house engineering and metallurgy, ESCO transforms what was already a robust machine into one that, in the toughest conditions, is unsurpassed. All Trio® equipment is supported by the Weir Minerals unmatched global service centre network – with over 160 facilities worldwide. Further information can be found at https://info.global.weir/trio
PNG Business News - November 26, 2021
PM Marape welcomes K22 billion Budget
Photo credit: PM James Marape News Page - Treasurer Ling-Stuckey tabling the 2022 Budget Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has welcomed the tabling of the record K22.175 billion 2022 Budget by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey in Parliament. He said it would help Papua New Guinea on the path to economic recovery as well as support successful delivery of the 2022 National General Election. “The total Budget of K22.175 billion is 9.3 per cent higher than the 2021 Supplementary Budget, with a revenue envelope of K16.190 billion which is 18.4 per cent higher than the 2021 Supplementary Budget,” PM Marape said. “The fiscal deficit for 2022 is K5.895 billion, which is 5.9 per cent of the 2022 Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Compare this deficit to K6. 6 billion or 7 per cent of GDP in 2021. “In 2022, the PNG economy is projected to grow strongly by 5.4 per cent, from K93 billion in 2021` to K102 billion. “The 2022 Budget will continue the budget repair and economic recovery path, with strong focus on non-resource sector growth, and at the same time support families and businesses. “There will be increased development and capital funding to high priority programmes and sufficient funding for key social sectors to stimulate economic growth. “The delivery of my Government’s third Budget today, despite the many challenges and obstacles, shows clearly the work that we have been doing. “It points to the fact that our path to economic recovery is correct, and with critical analysis by all multilateral Budget partners like Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Bank, our positive trajectories show an increase in GDP for next year and beyond as well as a declining budget deficit trend. “The handing down of the Budget is the single most-important parliamentary occasion of any government. “With hangovers and effects of a slowed economy due to COVID-19, your Government has used the last three years of National Budget to ensure our domestic economy was functional and alive, and our crucial services were maintained. “I want to assure our people and all stakeholders in our economy that we are responsible and prudent to ensure expected outcomes of our Budget are achieved.” PM Marape said since his Government took office in May 2019, it had used the Budget to support schools, hospitals, COVID-19 programmes, road construction, SME funds, retiring old debts and contractual obligations, paying outstanding industrial awards, and many others. “Our 2022 Budget embraces our national outcomes including opening up all parts of our country; intervening in sustainable economy; starting up Porgera, Papua LNG and Wafi-Golpu for our economy; paying for our children’s education in 2022 and beyond; building new hospitals; ramping up support to Bougainville; clearing up projects like new Supreme Court Building and ensuring the 2022 General Election is fully funded,” he said. “All the above we are doing whilst maintaining strict discipline in sticking to our money plan, with our development partners observing our discipline to reforms. “Key in our reforms is to borrow low-cost US dollar denominated borrowings like the Australian $400-million dollar and the Japanese Government US$280million 0.01 per cent five-year grace period lending, which all came directly into our economy by way of Budget support. “I just want to assure our people and our economic stake holders that we are going through tough times, but we will use the Budget policies wisely to share the load of burden and also ensure key infrastructure like the 1900 kilometres of road we built the last two years all over rural PNG through our flagship ‘Connect PNG’ programme are continued.” Article courtesy of PM James Marape News Page