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Bougainville President Says Panguna Mine Talks on Hold
by PNG Business News - April 26, 2021
President Ishmael Toroama of Bougainville has said that any talks on the infamous Panguna mine will be placed on hold until the government is satisfied that all parties concerned are happy and determined to speak about reopening the mine.
When unveiling the Autonomous Bougainville Government's Independence-ready mission to the citizens of Roreinang in the South Nasioi constituency of inland Central Bougainville last Thursday, Mr Toroama made this remark.
He stated that it is no secret that the region's taxes only amount to K20 million, which is insufficient to keep it afloat economically.
Although President Toroama said Bougainville is looking at ventures that will help it become economically self-sufficient as it works toward independence, he said the country cannot discuss Panguna just yet.
The government is looking at the reconstruction of the Manetai Limestone Project in Central Bougainville, as well as bringing in an investor to work on the Tonolei timber project in South Bougainville project before the end of the year.
President Toroama also announced that the Kieta Port would begin exporting processed cocoa.
He said that he wants people to work hard to grow Bougainvillean products.
Mr Toroama also stated that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the area must register in order to pay taxes to the government, which will support Bougainville's tax and revenue bases.
He claims that by doing so, the country can demonstrate that it is ready for freedom and can fend for itself.
People only hinder the advent of an independent society, he claimed, because they disregard the constitution and are unable to act independently and in favour of the ultimate goal of self-rule.
“When you destroy schools, hospitals or communication towers, you are not helping to ready Bougainville for independence.
“We must respect government properties, we must work with development partners and we must work hard within our families, our communities and constituencies to make Bougainville Independence ready,” President Toroama said.
“We must work on our cocoa blocks. We must grow our small businesses and we must create original products to market to grow our economy.
“Since assuming office, I have been cleaning out our government and its agencies.
“Government departments are aligning themselves with the government’s six-goal strategy to attain independence for Bougainville, and that is the preparation we are undertaking at the top level.
“Only then can we be seen to be ready to be an independent nation.”
PNG Business News - March 11, 2021
Chances of Panguna Mine Re-Opening Improving
The head of one of the Bougainville landowner groups impacted by the Panguna mine says it is up to the landowners to decide whether or not to reopen the mine. The Panguna Mine was at the heart of the ten-year Bougainville civil war, and it was forced to close in 1989 when it was PNG's largest export earner. But, thanks to Panguna Development Company Ltd, which has brought together almost all of the landowner parties, there is renewed talk of reopening the closed mine. An agreement has been reached to help Bougainville Copper Ltd, a former miner, in its search for an exploration license, and to offer landowners shares in the venture. There has also been widespread opposition to resuming mining at Panguna, but Therese Jaintong, chair of the Siokate landowners' party, said it is up to them to decide. "The landowners are empowered by the Bougainville Mining Act. So whatever they say they have the power with the government - all of us talking together. We are coming close to finding some good solutions," she said. According to Jaintong, they decided to put together all interested parties to discuss the mine's future. "We are very genuine that what we want to see is BCL and Rio Tinto and the National Government and the ABG to sit together with us landowners, mine-affected, and we come with some plans to find a solution to this," she said. "There's no use fighting over it and then bringing new issues, new structures, new people - so we are very genuine together." SMLOLA, which had previously backed another developer, is the only mine-affected landowner party that has declined to sign the resolution. Jeff Clason, an organizer with Panguna Development Company Ltd, said that reopening the contentious mine was still the best way for the area to develop a viable economy. He said there was support for reopening, particularly because Bougainville's other options are limited. "In this age and what we are going through, we already voted 98 per cent for independence and if they can come up with another strategy to make Bougainville we'd listen to them," he said. "But they haven't come up with anything mate. As you the bottom line is every country needs money."
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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.