PNG Sees K18 Billion Investment With The Start of Wafi-Golpu

By: PNG Business News February 01, 2021

With the construction of the Wafi-Golpu copper and gold project in Morobe about to start because of its environmental permit, Papua New Guinea hopes to see a windfall of over K18 billion investment in its economy.

Constructed by developers Harmony Gold Mining Company, this project is expected to cost at K17.26 million.

“At this time when our economy is contracting, it is important that we must bring in a major project to (be a catalyst to) reviving the economy,” said Environment, Conservation and Climate Change Minister Wera Mori. “And there is no better project than Wafi-Golpu which on record is one of the biggest undeveloped copper and gold deposits in the world.”

Mori announced that the project will use the deep-sea tailings placement (DSTP) as its waste disposal measure.

In order for the economy to recover, Mori said that this project should start.

“By law, the managing director of the Cepa (Gunther Joku), is required to grant the permit (after being satisfied that) all statutory processes involved in the granting of such permits are in place,” Mori said. “That includes the environmental impact studies to be conducted and specific environment statements to be made.”

Mori added, “It was as late as last year that as the minister responsible for Cepa, I gave approval in principal for the permit to be granted so that it will start the process of moving towards a mine development contract for the Wafi-Golpu joint ventures,” he said. “Upon the granting of a special mining lease, which forms part of the permitting processes of which we are now commencing with the environment permit, it will see an injection of close to US$5billion (K17.26bil) into the economy over five years for the construction of infrastructure.”

The next stage is to have discussions with the developers of the project and the granting of a mine development contract.

“The Morobe government and the people of Morobe will be represented through their elected leaders, to ensure that they gain maximum benefits from the spin-offs that are going to be generated,” he said. “The (granting of the permit) is a fulfilment of the requirements to take this project forward. The mining lease cannot be granted without the environmental permit. Having satisfied all the statutory requirements for the granting of such, the managing director of the Cepa Gunther Joku.”

However, Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu didn't receive the news too well.

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