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Bill Aids in Mine Reopening

by PNG Business News - April 19, 2021

According to Mining Minister Johnson Tuke, the Mining (Amendment) Bill 2020, which was passed by Parliament last year, led to the contract agreement recently signed by the Government and Barrick Niugini Ltd to reopen the Porgera gold mine.

The Mining (Amendment) Bill 2020 was passed by Parliament, allowing the government to invest in the production of the country's natural resource ventures.

The Bill was intended to provide the State with a legal basis for applying for a tenement and developing a mine.

Johnson stated at the time that the Bill was intended to provide a legal framework for the State to reserve property that was the product of an extended, abandoned, revoked, or relinquished tenement for which the State had made a new application.

Tuke questioned whether the modification aided negotiations on the proposed Porgera deal, saying, “That also had a reference to it. But sometimes we have to change the culture of conducting business. Our conduct of business in mining has to be in the international context. The former and the colonial way of conducting business must change, and we apply the national principles of conducting business. What has happened is not a surprise. Most of our mining operations are subscribed under the Mining Act 1992.”

Tuke added in the PNG context, “we are playing a catch-up game.

“We have got to be on par.”

Meanwhile, Motsy David, the State's first assistant secretary, said the state never kept track of how many natural resources were exported.

“In the 70s and 80s, we never monitor how (much) gold went out,” David said.

“We only relied on (information) the company was supplying. We believe that information like (the) Bible.”



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