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NRI: Bougainville has Vast Mineral Potential
by PNG Business News - March 19, 2021
According to the National Research Institute, given Bougainville's position within the Pacific Rim of Fire, the possibilities for mining various minerals, especially gold and copper, are vast (NRI).
Following the collapse of the Panguna mine, NRI noted in a recent report on Bougainville that regaining foreign investor trust in mining in Bougainville was proving difficult.
“Even more difficult is the effective management of the revenues from the sale of public resources such as minerals, forestry and fishing, which has long been a challenging problem for developing countries,” the report highlighted. “The primary management problem has been with the effective expenditure of resource revenues. Therefore, a major issue for discussion in Bougainville should be on whether institutional arrangements can be devised that will ensure that the resource revenues collected by the ABG – from, say, fishing, forestry or mining – will be put to good use in developing the economy.”
It continued, “We have argued for a management system where a share of mineral rents are directly paid to the public in the form of compensation for the sale of their asset. This has several advantages, including the fact that such transfers will bind the public across space and generations, concentrate attention on the returns from publicly owned assets, and create economic spillovers in the form of increased output and revenues for the budget. The model used in Alaska to manage the collection and distribution of its oil and gas revenues seems to be very worthy of consideration by Bougainville. This regime establishes a political constituency with an interest in protecting the revenues from corruption, waste, and so forth. If Bougainville is to adopt a policy of this kind, the nature of politics dictates that it should be done as soon as possible. Otherwise, if an alternative policy is adopted, it will be impossible to dismantle later as it will have formed its own constituency by then.”
PNG Business News - March 09, 2021
Grants Benefit Farmers and Women
The grants coursed through the Bougainville partnership commodity support facility will benefit cocoa farmers and women. An initiative of the Autonomous Bougainville Government supported by Australia through the PNG-Australia partnership, and the New Zealand government, the grants range between K300,000 and K500,000 benefitting. Some of those selected include Kukurina Business Group which will use the grant to improve crop quality and rehabilitate cocoa blocks, among others. Jonathan Kopas head this group, with support from treasurer Larry Augustine, secretary Hilda Kopa and vice-secretary Peninah James. Meanwhile, Australian High Commission’s counsellor for Bougainville Clayton Harrington said that obvious were the economic benefits of the programme. “Australia believes in the future of the Bougainville cocoa industry to improve livelihoods,” he said.
PNG Business News - March 19, 2021
Early Investments are Critical to Expanding Bougainville's Tax Base
According to a study by the National Research Institute (NRI), the investments needed to increase the tax base for the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) require significant upfront investments. The report said that increasing revenues for the Bougainville Government, public expenditures also necessitate capacity to prepare, budget, execute, and track them: Bougainville is on the verge of collapsing. “And absent such large and lumpy investments early, Bougainville will not be able to acquire fiscal independence,” it said. “ABG will need foreign funds and expatriate expertise to create the conditions for a transition to economic independence. Bougainville will need visionary leadership and considered support from the PNG Government. There is hope on both these fronts. Bougainville is rich in natural resources and can use that to attract foreign investments for technology transfer, capital injection, employment generation, market access and exports. Several water fishing nations are already operating in Bougainville waters. Attracting a foreign investor to engage in onshore tuna processing, as undertaken in Wewak on the mainland and across in the Solomon Islands, has the potential to generate much needed formal sector employment. Richer still are the known mineral deposits that have the potential to attract foreign investment. But that would be tricky given the history of Bougainville Copper Ltd, and the issues of the compensation for the environmental damage done and compensation for the decade-long conflict. Leadership and planning is necessary to navigate these obstacles to restarting the mine, that could boost revenues for the budget and provide returns to the people who ultimately own the resources.” According to the report, Bougainville should concentrate on: Introducing land administration systems and town planning; Enhancing contract protection, including land titles, mining leases, and potential income from private investment; and Lowering sovereign risk with regard to investments in Bougainville in relation to the rest of PNG.
PNG Business News - April 08, 2021
The United Kingdom an Active Participant in Bougainville's Development
The United Kingdom is the main contributor to the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, which funds programs in Bougainville and the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea. Last week, British High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea Keith Scott said that the United Kingdom, as a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, regularly engages in negotiations on Bougainville and offers support and other assistance through UN and other international development agencies. “We provided K425,000 for the UN Post-Referendum Support Project, with potentially up to another K1 million available, including for Bougainville’s economic development,” High Commissioner Scott said. Since 2018, the government has contributed more than K160 million to Papua New Guinea by key donations to multilateral such as the World Bank (International Development Association), the EU, UN organizations, and the Global Fund (OECD figures). And there's their separate assistance to Bougainville, which they've provided over the years. “The UK, as Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, participates actively in discussions on Bougainville,” he said. “We have sent observers for the independence referendum and contributed K450,000 to the UN Referendum Support Project. We have also sponsored two study tours to the UK in 2016 for leading representatives from PNG and Bougainville governments to learn about the post-conflict political settlement in Northern Ireland and the autonomy arrangements in Scotland.” He added, “We have also arranged two visits to Bougainville by former Minister for Presidential Affairs for South Sudan and former member of the Irish Republican Army to discuss their experiences of engaging with peace processes. We sponsored a peacebuilding forum in Arawa in March 2019 for 60 participants and we have assisted with K45,000 to fund Women’s Safe House in Haku, Bougainville.”
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PNG Business News - May 13, 2021
National Airport Corporation to Focus on Redevelopment Projects
The National Airports Corporation plans to devote more resources to the redevelopment projects at Kavieng, Tari, and Mendi airports as part of the Civil Aviation Growth Investment Program. With the exception of three airports, all airports under the CADIP program are on a budget, according to NAC acting managing director Rex Kiponge. Apart from Jackson Airport in Port Moresby, Kiponge claims that the majority of the country's airports are unable to handle the newly launched F100 aircraft. “The introduction of F100 aircraft has deteriorated the condition of runways in PNG. Under CADIP, fencing and runway length deficiencies will now meet the F100 and ICAO requirements. CADIP was implemented to meet the minimum PNG Civil Aviation Rules (CARS) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and recommended practices in all the 22 airports in the country. “The F100 aircraft require a minimum runway length of 1900 metres –– only three airports meet this requirement.” The F100 will be able to land at 12 airports thanks to a CADIP runway length upgrade. Port Moresby is now the only province that meets the operating criteria for F100 planes. Standby control, security fencing, apron parking, runway, taxiway, and apron strength, and a runway length suitable for takeoff at maximum payload are all part of the 22 airport upgrades. Kiponge recently visited the three airports and expressed his satisfaction with the development. Contractors have already finished construction on the security fence at Kavieng Airport, and work on the runway extension is going well. Once the runway extension is complete, the contractors can begin work on the terminal. He mentioned that the runway extension at Tari Airport is complete, and contractors are currently working on the apron, which will be finished until the runway extension is completed. Owing to the contractors' inability to obtain materials for the runway at Mendi Airport, NAC has requested that they redo the runway before moving on to the other areas. “Despite whatever issues within NAC, I will ensure that all 22 NAC’s airports undergoing upgrading will be completed and I will put in a lot of efforts and focus to makes certain work is done well and completed,” Kiponge said.
PNG Business News - May 13, 2021
Govt to Focus on Downstream Processing
The government is putting a lot of effort into encouraging downstream production in the region. This was said by Prime Minister James Marape during a visit to Paradise Foods Company Limited. “We are focused on downstream processing as far as going forward is concerned –– instead of exporting raw products,” said Marape. “We want to go downstream to satisfy our local markets as well as export to economies around us.” PNG is fortunate, according to Marape, to have access to 60% of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) through the APEC network. “As well as, not just the APEC network, but in the vicinity of PNG’s accessibility to markets, we have over 4 billion people from the Pacific, Northern Asia, Western Asia and Northeast Asia put together. “So to satisfy our local markets in PNG for our 8 million-plus people, as well as the opportunity of exporting to markets closest to us like our neighbouring countries.” Marape has stated that he supports downstream production and marketing of PNG's natural resources both locally and internationally. “Today, I am privileged to visit an industry that has been at work since 1945, and I’d like to thank Paradise Foods Company Limited for doing a wonderful job and feeding our country.” Marape promised that the government will help the industry and market.
PNG Business News - May 13, 2021
Mayur Discusses Power Plant Project in Lae
Mayur Resources Ltd says it has formed an ongoing relationship with the State negotiation team to discuss and finalize a power purchase agreement (PPA) for its planned power plant in Lae, Morobe. The organization was waiting for the State negotiation team's makeup to be finalized and signed off, according to managing director Paul Mulder. After that, he said, the Enviro Energy Park (EEP) project's final discussions and negotiations will begin. Mayur's planned 52.5-megawatt EEP project is an advanced power plant that will produce more efficient and cheaper electricity than current solutions by combining conventional thermal energy (sourced from the company's wholly-owned Depot Creek project), solar, and biomass woodchip, while also supplying co-generated steam to nearby industrial users who were burning diesel for their steam needs. The EEP, which is near Lae, will also have steam as a by-product for local industrial uses, and potential dual fuel systems will allow for the use of diesel. “The energy park would balance the need for new environmentally friendly technologies and reliable energy,” Mulder said.