Miner Promises to Follow the Proper Procedures of Acquiring lease
by PNG Business News - March 22, 2021
According to an official, the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) will follow the proper procedures before its application for special mining lease 10 is approved.
David Masani, WGJV's principal community engagement advisor, stated this during the company's numerous scheduled meetings with communities that would be impacted by the K18.4 billion gold-copper project.
People were using mainstream and social media to speak about the advantages and procedures, according to Masani.
“Our province is jumping ahead in the process, talking about benefits, businesses and contracts,” he said. “We are not following due process; the mandated process by the government.”
Moses Mambu, a representative of the Mineral Resource Authority, explained that the environmental permit was just one step in a longer phase.
“An environment permit does not mean the company can now develop this project,” he said.
According to Mambu, the application for SML 10 that was submitted in August 2016 is still with the government and will go through a rigorous process before being granted.
A mining development contract will be signed, and a memorandum of agreement (MoA) will be developed through a developmental forum between the national, provincial, and local governments, landowners, and WGJV.
“This agreement is yet to eventuate,” he said. “And two key benefits to be discussed under this agreement are royalties and equity. These are only for people living along with the pipeline footprint, SML area or the tailings outfall.”
The fiscal stability agreement and the State equity acquisition agreement, according to Mambu, are two other agreements that need to be achieved.
“Such things are to be considered before granting the SML,” he said.
PNG Business News - March 11, 2021
PNG Technical Team Will Work on Assessment on the Wafi-Golpu Mining Project
By the end of the month, a technical team from the Papua New Guinea technical (PNG) Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) will soon be tabling an assessment on the details regarding the construction of the Wafi-Golpu Mining project to the mining advisory council (MAC) According to MRA managing director Jerry Garry, “Permitting of a special mining lease for large projects will require a different pathway than permitting a medium scale to small scale mine under the mining lease,” he said. “For a special mining lease, requires three distinct pathways for permitting. One, environmental permitting is a mandatory requirement and is done independently through the environment act under the custody of the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa). That process has been done and Cepa has issued the environmental permit for the Wafi-Golpu project. “The other is technical, from the mining perspective,” he said. “That includes looking at structures to be built on the ground, the roads the buildings, the processing plants. Because it will be an underground operation, we will also look at designs to critically ensure that the integrity of the structures and any development met the expected standards. Once that is done and we are satisfied, we will give the green light for them to go and construct. During construction, we also provide that oversight to ensure that it is done safely. We have looked at all the proposals. Our technical team is about to table the technical assessment to MAC for the council to deliberate on. We anticipate that process to conclude by at least the end of March.” Garry added that if it goes to the MAC and the council was okay with it, then the council would deliberate on the application. The third stream was the mining development contract, he said. “It’s between the State and developer to go by the books in terms of the benefits and any fiscal stability that they want,” he said. “When that is locked in, then we have a lower level called a development forum which will then involve MRA and State team to negotiate with the provincial government, LLGs and landowners in terms of benefits.”
PNG Business News - June 20, 2022
Wafi-Golpu Project On Final Stages Of Negotiation
The Wafi-Golpu project's State Negotiating Team is thought to be in the final stages of discussions with shareholding companies. However, due to the National General Election, most of the work on the ground has been put on pause. Any development forum procedure that arises following the successful completion of the mining development contract discussions, according to Mineral Resources Authority managing director Jerry Garry, will be effective after the elections. “Right now the State Negotiating Team and the shareholding companies including Newcrest and Harmony Gold are very much in the final leg of negotiations. “The details of the negotiations are confidential at this stage and we will have to wait until SNT and the development concludes this phase of work,” he said. In the meanwhile, the Frieda River mine is expected to open in the fourth quarter of this year. Mr Garry stated that nothing has progressed in the assessment process for Frieda River and that they plan to begin construction after Porgera and Wafi-Golpu are completed. “Weare involved in what we called the state negotiation or the state-related negotiations. It does not only require the MRA officers but requires a full complement of state-related departments and agencies,” Mr Garry said. “In this case, we would require the participation of the State Solicitors office, National Planning, Department of Finance, and key officials from the Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Commission, Bank of PNG, Department of Labour and Employment, and the Department of Commerce. “It requires all the state departments to be involved when it comes to assessing a mining project, particularly a major project such as the Freda River and Wafi-Golpu.” Reference: Wohi, Lorraine. Post-Courier (15 June 2022). “Wofi-Golpu Project On Final Leg Of Negotiation”.
PNG Business News - June 27, 2022
Govt Interested in Taking 30pc Equity in Wafi-Golpu Project
Photo credit: Newcrest Mining According to Dr. John Kuwimb, managing director of Kumul Minerals Holdings Ltd (KMHL), the government plans to exercise its option to acquire up to the full 30% equity in the K18.5 billion Wafi-Golpu project in Morobe. Kuwimb stated that KMHL was looking forward to taking part in upcoming projects, particularly those involving the mining of rare earth minerals, gold, and copper, where prices are rising and are likely to continue doing so due to increased demand for these minerals due to the climate change agenda, ongoing geopolitical conflicts, and realignments. “If we secure 30 per cent in Wafi, then it is likely that some percentage will go to the Morobe government and the Special Mining Lease (SML) area landowners and so we will be left with the balance to keep for the rest of Papua New Guinea,” he said. “Under government policy, the National Government has the option to take up to 30 per cent equity in large mining projects, and so, in the Wafi project, the Government wants to exercise that option to take the full 30 per cent.” “The future plan is to concentrate especially on gold and copper projects and buy into existing exploration licenses. “Our future is bright. “We want to follow a future that is sustainable and prosperous by dominating the mining industry in this country.” The developers of the mining project are Newcrest and Harmony under the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture. Reference: The National (23 June 2022). Govt keen on taking 30pc equity”.
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PNG Business News - August 12, 2022
Going Green: FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG Programme provides green-powered facility to local agricultural authorities to effectively service rural farmers
EU Funded UN Joint STREIT Programme in Papua New Guinea establishes a renewable energy-powered facility to support local government authorities in East Sepik Province, in delivering effective services to rural farmers and entrepreneurs. With generous support of the European Union, the FAO-led EU STREIT Programme officially opened a new 3 cluster office building on 10 August 2022, to host the Programme along with the East Sepik provincial divisions of Agriculture and Livestock, Cocoa Board and the National Agriculture Quarantine & Inspection Authority. The new-look office building is powered by 189 solar panels, which significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the collective dependence on fossil fuel. The solar panels supply the building with 90 KW of energy, relieving the resident agencies and authorities from relying on fossil-generated electricity for their needs, including lighting, ICT, water pumping, and temperature control. This zero-carbon-emission facility has the capacity to accommodate around 90 experts, technicians and extension service officers. Equipped with 120 batteries, the building can support staff’s operation for 36 hours in case of experiencing high cloud cover. The building, currently co-resided by the Programme and provincial agricultural bodies, will be transferred over to the East Sepik Provincial Administration at the end of the Programme and will continue to provide a sustainable base for sustainable support to agriculture-related services in the Province. Officiating the opening ceremony, His Excellency Ambassador Jernej Videtič, Head of the European Union Delegation to PNG, in his address, said: “I am happy to be here and to see that things are moving in the right direction to bring sustainable benefits to the people of East Sepik” Ambassador Videtič further highlighted that “with resources from the citizens of Europe to fund the EU-STREIT Programme in providing training, tools and support, the quantity and quality of cocoa, vanilla and fisheries products will increase. The objective is also to protect these quality products in international markets under the EU-STREIT introduced initiative of Geographical Indication.” The East Sepik Acting Deputy Provincial Administrator, Mr James Baloiloi, in his speech expressed his appreciation to the EU for funding the EU-STREIT Programme and the interventions that the Programme is doing in East Sepik and Sandaun provinces. “The STREIT Programme has gone ahead to introduce a culture of agribusiness that now enables the people of this Province and the people of Sandaun Province to have cash income that can sustain their livelihoods.” Mr Baloiloi added, “this infrastructure and building supports us and facilitates the service delivery to our people in this Province as well as Sandaun Province.” Thanking the EU for its generous funding support, Dr Xuebing Sun, the EU-STREIT Programme Coordinator, said: “the Programme has generated substantial impacts at beneficiary, local institutions and enabling business environment levels. This would not be possible with good partnership, increased ownerships and leaderships of the governments and implementing partners.” “This co-residing and close co-operation among UN agencies and their national partners in this integrated space reflect the partnership approach taken by the Programme to sustainably develop agri-enterprise activities in the region,” added Dr Xuebing Sun, adding “the new climate-friendly facility, which is fully powered by solar energy, also provides a space to welcome, advise and serve the farmers, including interested women and youth, who play very important roles along agri-food value chains”. “This kind of ‘green investment’ enables a shift to a more green economy for local institutions and infrastructure to meet cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains stakeholders” advised Anthony Bennett, the FAO Lead Technical Officer of the EU-STREIT PNG Programme. United Nations’ implementing partners supporting the FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG present in the office include the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The EU-STREIT PNG is being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as implementing partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the Country and the Pacific region. It focuses on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through increasing the economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains and strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
CPAPNG annual meet to discuss global changes
Certified Practicing Accountants of Papua New Guinea will be hosting their 23rd annual conference with about 400 participants nationwide expected to attend the two day conference organized by CPA PNG in Lae Morobe Province from August 18 to19, 2022 CPAPNG was established in 1974 and has come a long way with a lot of achievements along the way. Over the years its membership grew from mere numbers to just below 2000 which includes 40% locals and 60% non-citizens. . The CPA PNG conference is one of CPAs three significant annual events on their calendar with this year's conference theme; Is PNG prepared for the recession?" The conference will see certain key leaders in executive management roles from both the public and private sector delivering presentations in line with the conference theme. CPA PNG's Executive Director Mr. Yuwak Tau said the theme of the conference was selected because there was a decline in the global economy and the general so when that eventuates small economies tend to be affected. He added that they have basically selected the theme that was current and appropriate so that members would find relevance during the course of the conference. “The meeting is to create intellectual and interactive discussions with seasoned business leaders to present and share their ideas and experiences to find probable outcomes within their business environment and industries in times of economic uncertainty”. Some of the topics to be presented by consultants are current significant issues such as crypto currency, transport pricing, bit coin block chain technology and stress management. This were some topics that people have heard about but have not really ventured into. Mr. Tau added that it would be quite hard to measure the benefits immediately but the participants will be able to look at insights shared during the conference that would be appropriate in the areas of employment, accounting, finance, auditing and others. The conference will create an environment where participants can also share information so That they can take points to apply in their work place and industries. In relation the Kumul petroleum Holdings had also presented a cheque of K50, 000 to support the coming event at their head office. The cheque was presented by KPHL's executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Luke Liria and was received by CPA PNG Chairman Richard Kuna. Mr. Liria said KPHL has appreciated the effort put in by CPA PNG to ensure that its members in State owned enterprises and the private sector were given appropriate level of training and as part of KPHL's corporate social responsibility and commitment they hope that their support will continue to help the organization facilitate and make sure the accounting practices is of international standards. CPA PNG's Chairman, Richard Kuna acknowledged KPHL for their support and stated that he was looking forward to seeing KPHL being a big part of the upcoming conference.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
BSP: Small to Medium Enterprises Loans reaches 60% rate.
Bank South Pacific's Financial Group Ltd Chief executive officer Mr. Robin Fleming has recently announced that the bank has granted more than K200 million as loans to small to medium enterprises under its credit scheme facility that the then Marape government had released to the bank to support Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and local businesses during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Fleming said about 1523 customer loans have been approved, that is about 60% of loan approval rates since 2019. Prior to this announcement BSP and the Department of Commerce and Industry (DCI) had agreed to increase the maximum loan under the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) credit enhancement facility to K5 million. The previous limit was K3 million when the Government first released K100 million as security to the bank under its K200 million SME allocation for BSP to rollout the loan facility last year. Fleming stated that even though they have exhausted and rolled out the bulk of the governments relief funds for SME's they will still be running the SME loan program under its credit facility scheme “At this stage, BSP has not received the funding planned for this year but that is not preventing BSP from giving loans under the facility”. “There remains significant capacity for BSP to continue to assess, approve and funds loans under the facility”. “The agreement with the Government did provide for momentum in the SME facility to be maintained while allowing for the Government budget and funding process to be adhered to”. As part of the government SME relief funding, Commercial Banks were allocated K200 million with BSP Financial Group receiving K100 million, NDB K80 million and another K20 million was allocated to the department of Commerce and Industry BSP could not comment on how the National Development Bank (NDB) is dealing with the K80 million it received, but the intent, when discussions were initiated, was that BSP would be lending to more mature SMEs and NDB to startup ventures. In addition to enabling SMEs to access lower cost of funds through the facility with BSP, the bank has also made it a responsibility to ensure that Government funding is preserved by not approving loans that have a higher risk of default.