Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Appoint Kassman as President
by PNG Business News - May 04, 2021
The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum has appointed Richard Kassman as its current president.
Kassman, who has served as the chamber's vice president for the past three years, succeeds Gerea Aopi, who began his career in the industry in 1991.
Following the announcement, Kassman praised the outgoing president, Aopi, for his extensive work and guidance.
“My first task as president-elect is to thank outgoing president Gerea Aopi. A colossus of a man whose contribution to our industry and indeed his beloved Papua New Guinea is unrivalled.
“Gerea always guided the discourse ensuring being cognizant with national interests, when the chamber represented its diverse membership and promoted the industry. He served with class and distinction. He was measured, thoughtful and compassionate, and when required, frank and direct. Hallmarks of a courageous servant leader,” Kassman said.
In his final remarks, Aopi put the industry's attempts to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic into perspective.
“Amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the country last year, the chamber has been active in discussing legislation and policy that affects our industry.
“Constant dialogue and discussion amongst council members representing mining and petroleum have been at the core of our engagement in the national and political space,” he said.
Kassman, who works for Total E&P PNG Limited as the Public Affairs and External Communications Head, spoke about the mining and petroleum sector's future as well as the chamber's work.
“The chamber plays a crucial role in providing discourse on major national issues. And it represents members who are always ready to step in to assist the national leadership in times of national calamity,” he said.
The Chamber of Mines and Petroleum is PNG's apex body for the mining and petroleum industries, with a diverse membership that spans both the mineral and industry sectors. It comprises the majority of PNG's productive mining and petroleum firms.
PNG Business News - May 18, 2021
PNGEITI Congratulates Richard Kassman as New Industry Chamber President
Richard Kassman was recently named President of the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, and the PNG Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) congratulated him. He recently took over for Gerea Aopi, who had served in the role admirably. Richard Kassman is the Director of Corporate Affairs, Total E&P PNG Limited, and was vice president of the Chamber at the time of his appointment. He is an active member of the PNGEITI Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) and was vice president of the Chamber at the time of his appointment. Kassman is a member of the PNGEITI MSG, which oversees the Global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) implementation in Papua New Guinea. “As we all know Kassman is a dedicated professional with active engagement in both the Government and private sector in Papua New Guinea with deep commitment within those various roles he plays,” PNGEITI Head of National Secretariat Lucas Alkan said. “His insights and contributions to the advancement of EITI reporting in this country have resonated with great value and the PNGEITI MSG is privileged to have him on board. “At this juncture, we acknowledge his invaluable commitment and contribution over the years since PNG commenced implementing the EITI 7 years ago. Now as elected President of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, we look forward to a heightened working relation with regards to the role that the industry plays as the key stakeholder in implementing and maintaining PNG’s position as an EITI affiliated member country.” Kassman's expertise, according to Alkan, will significantly enhance the work of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum in representing the EITI in PNG, as well as giving the cause more visibility by building on the momentum of the campaign, which has generated many financial year reports from the extractive sector.
PNG Business News - June 08, 2021
PNG Chamber Shoots Down PSA Regime Proposal
Prime Minister James Marape said the government could look at a hybrid tax regime for mining and oil and gas after members of the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum pointed out the flaws of a production sharing agreement (PSA) system. John Chambers, the general manager of Santos in PNG, warned that PSA-style regimes had been detrimental to other countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Brazil. Speaking on behalf of the PNG Chamber, Chambers also warned that any changes to PNG’s current regimes would "impact near-term investment unless you can define how that new regime is going to be and articulate it properly." In the PNG Chamber's webinar, Marape confirmed that changes to the country’s regulatory and fiscal regimes for PNG’s mining and petroleum sector were being drafted and would be circulated soon. But he has also reassured the sector that the changes would be made "in consultation" with them and implemented by 2025, PNG's 50th year of independence. To support Chambers' argument against a PSA, the group heard from two organisations on the regime's downside Chris Graham, Wood Mackenzie’s Vice-President for Energy Consulting, Asia Pacific, said successful PSAs placed a greater administrative burden on government. Emma Beatty, Director of Research at MineHutte, said 99 per cent of countries with active mining industries had a royalty and tax-based system and that PSAs "made projects harder to finance for miners, because lenders didn’t understand them." Due to their greater complexity, PSAs also could exclude smaller junior mining companies, Beatty noted. The Marape government has been looking at introducing PSAs into its new resources laws, which the PNG Chamber and the industry has generally opposed . Under a PSA, the State maintains ownership of its mineral resources but engages a developer to run a resources project, in return for a share of production. That, however, is a shift away from the current regime, where a developer controls the resources in return for paying various taxes and rents, and granting the State a mandatory minority share in any project. Following the Chamber's presentations, Marape conceded that PSAs "may not be the way to go" and suggested that a "hybrid" system might work better for PNG. There was no change to the current regime as yet, the Prime Minister told the audience, but that the intention was there as he welcomed the "healthy debate and consultation." "But, whatever form it [reform] takes, 2025 is the benchmark date," he said.
PNG Business News - May 03, 2021
Chamber Calls On Government to Pay Its Dues
The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry has asked the government to pay over K100 million in unpaid dues to its members in order to help them develop their businesses. Stacey O'Nea, the Chamber's chief executive officer, stated that they are not after free handouts or a stimulus budget for companies; rather, they want what is owed to them to be compensated so that their businesses can be stimulated. “Many of our members are starting to scale down and are letting go of their employees due to the impact of COVID-19 on the country’s economy, and businesses are unable to continue to save jobs in the current prolonged COVID-19 threat environment,” she said. “The sensitive issue of job loss also has an impact on livelihoods in PNG’s extended family system and has a direct spillover effect on social and security issues. “Coupled with ongoing concerns on revenue challenges, subsequent profit decline, depreciating kina, forex availability, increased fuel and security costs and COVID-19 restrictions are a myriad of serious challenges shared across our businesses and industries.” O'Nea stated that the chamber is in talks with relevant authorities over receiving government compensation owed to its members. “While we are thankful for the Government’s efforts this year towards settling a number of urgent arrears for rentals, goods and services, we urge continuity of payments for contracts that have satisfied the vetting process, as they will help act as a stimulus to sustain operations in these times for our businesses and industries,” she said. Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Belden Namah has said that the economy is in free fall and has urged the government to ease controls on enterprises and social events as soon as possible while maintaining the new standard. Lockdowns, he claimed, are killing the economy by throwing workers out of jobs and forcing companies to close.
PNG Business News - September 16, 2021
Engaging the global crowd to design the electric mine of the future
Today, the Electric Mine Consortium (EMC) launched the ‘Electric Mine Simulation’ crowd challenge in partnership with the OZ Minerals Think & Act Differently ideas incubator and Unearthed. OZ Minerals, IGO, South 32, Blackstone Minerals, Evolution Mining, Barminco and Goldfields have committed to significantly reducing their carbon footprint. These seven mining companies along with a number of partner companies, have come together to form the Electric Mine Consortium, a collaborative group seeking to accelerate progress towards a fully electrified zero carbon and zero particulates mine. Electrification of mine sites is a critical step change needed for the mining industry to achieve a zero carbon future. Switching to electric and renewable energy represents a transformational shift that will change the way mines are designed. This challenge is about using simulation to understand the impacts of electrification on mine design and through this challenge the EMC is looking to find innovators that can help do this. The eight-week online challenge invites companies and individuals from around the world to propose an approach to designing an open architecture, mine design simulation platform that can initially be used to compare a fully electric underground mine with its traditional diesel powered equivalent. Brett Triffett, Transformation Technologist, from OZ Minerals explained, “there is a great opportunity to use whole-of-mine simulations that integrate all of the dependent systems so we can understand the holistic value in transitioning from diesel to electric solutions in underground mines. We would like to be able to quickly build and test different mine designs and compare things like productivity, costs, emissions and energy requirements. We think that eventually this capability could be expanded to include the entire mining value chain. We have invited the crowd to propose solutions because we are not currently aware of a platform that meets this brief. What we have learned from running previous crowd challenges is that there are often people from outside our industry who have ideas or technology that can be applied to mining. These people are often unknown to us and in many cases they are unfamiliar with our industry. By participating in a crowd challenge, innovators can access a new market and be supported in developing new products and business models.”. A selected cohort from from this challenge will join the Think & Act Differently incubator and be supported in developing a demonstration of their solution. The incubator program is a supportive environment that includes; funding, mentoring, opportunities for collaboration, capability uplift and exposure to mining data and mining operations from across the EMC members.
PNG Business News - September 15, 2021
Weir Minerals strengthens its partnership with international technology group, Andritz
Weir Minerals and Andritz have signed an agreement at MINExpo 2021 expanding their shared commitment and strategic cooperation to supply equipment for processing tailings in the mining industry. The foundations of this agreement have been built on a shared understanding and vision to enable the sustainable and efficient delivery of the natural resources essential to create a better future for the world. Since 2018, Weir Minerals’ and Andritz’s partnership has seen them collaborate on joint tailings projects. This shared history as partners – a collaboration made stronger by the quality of individuals on both teams – has reinforced their abiding belief that together, both Weir Minerals and Andritz are stronger. This shared success has led both Weir Minerals and Andritz to renew their on-going commitment and announce they’ll be expanding their offer to all regions around the globe. Utilising Andritz’s proven separation and dewatering technologies, Weir Minerals has strengthened its whole-of-mine capabilities, showcasing market-leading products from extraction to comminution, mill circuit and tailings management. ‘Weir Minerals has been providing tailings solutions for decades; we have dedicated research facilities – the Weir Technical Centre in Melbourne, Australia and the Sustainable Mining Centre in Venlo, Netherlands – that are challenging conventional ways of thinking about tailings, while also developing practical, innovative and sustainable solutions that will reduce operating costs and improve safety,’ Ricardo Garib, Weir Minerals Division President said. ‘Decreasing ore grades mean that mines are producing more tailings than ever before. One of the challenges with tailings management is that there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach; each mine requires a tailored solution that carefully considers the minerals being processed, as well as the site’s climatic and geological conditions. Weir Minerals prides itself on having both the expertise and equipment that allows us to partner with miners everywhere to plan and implement tailings solutions based on their operations’ unique challenges and this agreement with Andritz enhances those capabilities,’ he said. ‘Andritz has a long history working across a range of different industries. We are very proud of the work we’ve done with Weir Minerals; together, we’re excited about continuing to provide a joint offering of sustainable and value-added tailings solutions. Both companies bring a different expertise and know-how to the partnership; we complement one another and ultimately it’s our customers who’ll benefit,’ Steve Huff, President Andritz Separation said. Tailings management forms an important element of Weir Minerals’ broader integrated solutions approach, which considers problems and challenges from all perspective and draws on a range of experts – process engineers, design engineers, product experts and materials scientists, among others – to identify potential challenges and opportunities and provide tailored solutions. ‘This latest agreement enhances our overall tailings offering and enables us to provide our customers with a complete tailings solution. Under the brand name IsoDry, we will continue to offer customers a range of mechanical separation technologies, such as thickeners, filter presses, centrifuges, and vacuum belt filters,’ Charlie Stone, Weir Minerals VP Sales and Business Development-Mill Circuit said. Weir Minerals has strengthened its tailings team to support the market and ensure that it can provide innovative solutions based on each customer’s specific requirements. The agreement provides the opportunity for potential future collaboration on technology, harnessing Andritz’s market-leading separation technology in conjunction with Weir Minerals’ minerals and tailings processing technology. Many of these products – Warman® pumps to transport fluid tailings, GEHO® pumps to handle paste, Cavex® hydrocyclones to dewater tailings and the Multiflo® range of dewatering solutions – have been integral to helping miners manage their waste for generations. Weir Minerals and Andritz have also reiterated their shared commitment to sustainability; it is an essential part of both their business and corporate strategies. Both companies have outlined ambitious plans to reduce their carbon emissions, while their approach to ESG initiatives extends to all aspects of their organisations. ‘Shareholders and stakeholders are rightfully demanding more sustainable mining practices and tailings management is an area where there’s a lot of scope for improvement. Weir Minerals wants to play a central role in changing how the industry thinks about and manages tailings. Ultimately, we believe that sustainable solutions are not only environmentally beneficial, but also reduce operating costs and minimise risk,’ David Almond, Weir Minerals Global Director, Product Management Process said. ‘Weir strives to make our customers more sustainable and efficient; it’s core to our purpose and at the heart of what we do. We believe that embedding sustainability throughout our organisation protects and creates long-term value for our stakeholders and secures the long-term future of Weir. Our approach to tailings management is an extension of our broader corporate strategy. There is scope to make long-lasting, impactful change in how the mining sector thinks about and manages tailings and Weir is proud to be one of the industry leaders,’ Jon Stanton, Weir Group Chief Executive said.
PNG Business News - September 15, 2021
STAKEHOLDERS VIEWS CRITICAL FOR BETTER RESOURCE GOVERNANCE: ALKAN
Head of the PNGEITI Mr Lucas Alkan last week in Wabag at the opening of the consultation. The Head of the PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Mr. Lucas Alkan has issued a strong challenge to stakeholders in the extractive industries to embrace and promote the work of EITI in Papua New Guinea to derive best value from the industry. Mr. Alkan spoke of this last week in Wabag when he opened the upper highlands regional consultation on a proposed law to transition the PNGEITI into a statutory authority. “PNG EITI is a government driven initiative to promote transparency and accountability in the PNG mining and petroleum space which has been driving the PNG economy for a sustained period of time. “But there is this misconception about proceeds from mining and petroleum activities not being translated well into development on the ground and this sentiment is shared by many at both the provincial and national level. “What PNGEITI is doing is to shed light on the leakages on revenues and proceeds from the mining and petroleum activities with the ultimate aim of improving governance in the mining and petroleum sectors using international best practice standards to see the desired development outcome from this important sector. “Seven years into PNGEITI implementation in PNG, we’ve now seen the need to make the PNGEITI administrative body, the PNGEITI into a statutory body to see more improvement in the EITI reports to enhance good governance in the sector to derive the best development outcome. “We’ve covered two regions; the New Guinea Islands and Momase regions and we are now conducting consultations in Enga and Eastern Highalnds to cover the big highlands region. “I encourage the best knowledge and views from all stakeholders from the stakeholders in these consultations so that we give birth to a law that truly reflects the genuine views of all stakeholders for better development outcomes. A State Technical working group comprising the Department of Petroleum, State Solicitor, Internal Revenue Commission, Department of Personnel Management, Department of Treasury, the National Economic Fiscal Commission and Department of Finance were in the Enga capital, Wabag for a four days consultation for the Upper Highlands region” “PNGEITI has been in operations since 2014 effected by a NEC decision and now we are moving into the next step in anchoring this extractive industry reporting process into PNG’s legal and administrative system. PNGEITI published 7 reports detailing activities taking placing inn the PNG mining and petroleum space,” Mr. Alkan said. Article Courtesy of PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative