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Industry Expert: Resource Projects Should Continue
by PNG Business News - June 07, 2021
Photo Credit: PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum - Mr John Chambers, General Manager, PNG Santos Ltd
If Papua New Guinea wants to maintain its economy, resource projects should continue to come online, according to an industry expert. This was said by John Chambers, Santos PNG's general manager and a PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum council member, during the chamber's webinar series. He stressed the need for collaboration between the government and the industry in securing pipelines.
“It is also important to see that sanctioning of large projects such as the PNG LNG gives a very quick economic fill up to the economy as getting taxes, (the different taxes) and increase in employment,” he said.
The resource business accounts for 88 per cent of the country's overall export and 28 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, according to a snapshot of a study from the PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Institute (PNG EITI). According to the World Bank, PNG is one of the top ten resource-dependent economies in the world.
“It’s not necessarily a great thing, but it’s something we have to work within and try to maximise,” Chambers said.
The following are some of the country's noteworthy resource projects:
- The gold mine Porgera in Enga, which is set to reopen later this year;
- The Wafi-Golpu project, worth US$5.4 billion (K154.91 billion), is located in Morobe's Huon Gulf and Wau-Bulolo districts. Harmony Gold Mining Ltd and Newcrest Mining Ltd have a 50/50 stake in this large-scale underground mining operation.
- The US$12 billion (K41.38 billion) Papua LNG project, which will be operated by Total E&P PNG Ltd;
- The US$9.2 billion (K31.67 billion) P'nyang gas project, which is jointly owned by ExxonMobil and Oil Search;
- The PASCA A Petroleum project in the Gulf;
- Others include the Frieda River copper and gold project in East and West Sepik, as well as GeoPacific Resources Ltd's K420 million Woodlark project in Milne Bay.
Prime Minister James Marape stated that the government will continue to work on the Wafi-Golpu project as well as other outstanding resource projects.
“We have already issued an environmental permit and we will progress Wafi-Golpu after Porgera is moved,” he said. “In the petroleum space, Pasca has been discussed. We thank ExxonMobil for reopening discussions on P’nyang, and we are remobilizing for Papua LNG. We have been active in business in the midst of Covid-19 as far as the mining and petroleum sector is concerned.”
According to Marape, the government welcomes and will work with all investors in the nation since they are entitled to a high return on investment while also ensuring that locals get a fair part of the resources.
Moi, Clarissa. The National (7 June 2021). “Bring in more projects: Expert”.
PNG Business News - May 13, 2021
Mayur Resources Close to Developing PNG's First Iron and Industrial Sands Project
Mayur Resources Ltd is nearing completion on the country's first iron and industrial sands project in Orokolo Bay, Gulf, with the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) reviewing its mining lease proposal. Mayur Resource Ltd managing director Paul Mulder said the MRA had already received the company's K60 million project and evaluation proposal, which was submitted earlier this year. He said it was not a big undertaking, but the advantages to the region would include direct and indirect job growth, as well as the fact that it was a sustainable mining operation inland from the coast. Multiple mechanised sago operations will be introduced as a post-mining activity at the mining site, replicating facilities that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and French energy company Total had already built further up the Purari River. “We are ensuring that prior to us beginning the mining, everyone must be clear on the direct and indirect benefits as well as sustainable ongoing benefits,” Mulder said. “We can’t say when the MRA will have the project assessed. “That is their internal processes. “But if you compare projects such as Wafi-Golpu, this project is well over 100 times bigger than what we are proposing in capital construction cost and is more complex and much larger in scale. “The initial benefits will last for 15 years with follow on sustainable mechanised sago plantations to continue well after this. “We feel that this could be assessed in an expedient manner as it will benefit many parties and is not complex, involves no chemicals and can be commenced in a much shorter time frame.” Mulder clarified that the project was not to be confused with beach sand mining since it was an ancient buried paleo-geological formation deposit inland, away from the coast, where standard mining methods can be used in accordance with the Mining Act.
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PNG Business News - June 15, 2021
PNG Vanilla Company Partners Expo2020 Team
Dr. Nancy Irwin (left) with the Deputy Commissioner General for Expo2020 and Head of the PNG Expo2020 Secretariat, Mrs. Jacinta Warakai-Manua began the partnership to tell the PNG Vanilla story in Dubai, by exchanging ideas in Port Moresby last week. A vanilla production and export company is partnering with the PNG Expo2020 Team to promote their products in the Dubai World Exposition that starts in October this year. KAMAPIM, a company working with landowners in the Madang and Morobe Provinces produces top quality vanilla beans and is already exporting to the EU market. The Managing Director of the company Dr. Nancy Irwin, met with the PNG Commissioner General to Expo2020 Ambassador Joshua Kalinoe and his Deputy Mrs. Jacinta Warakai-Manua in Port Moresby last week to firm up the arrangements. Dr. Irwin said Kamapim (pidgin for develop and to improve) concentrates its efforts in producing the best quality bean for the international market through quality assurance production methods. “PNG farmers can grow anything, they have instinctive ability to grow well any crops. When I first started the project, the quality of the beans were poor, full of fungus due to lack of processing knowledge. We saw huge potential of the organically grown beans and started working with landowners through a cooperative production and marketing structure to improve quality” “The company provide extension services to farmers and buy the beans directly, ensuring farmers are paid a fair price for their efforts”, she said. Dr Irwin said the beans are tested internationally and are consistently classed as the top-quality A grade level. “While PNG has a good perception of growing environment friendly organic vanilla beans, the challenge is for the relevant Government authorities to work with farmers to improve quality. I believe the cooperative production methods applied by our company, Kamapim, could be used nationally as one of the models to improve quality for the export market as well as to maximize revenue gain for farmers”, Dr. Irwin said. She said the company is looking forward to partnering with the PNG Expo2020 Team to tell the PNG story and to connect with niche importers in Dubai and the Arab world in general. Dr. Irwin said the company would promote its products in specially branded PNG Expo2020 containers to create visibility for the country as well as to preserve quality at the company’s cost.
PNG Business News - June 15, 2021
PNGEITI Praises Open Dialogue to Reopen Porgera Mine
The PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) has praised the open stakeholder dialogue culminating in reaching consensus to re-open the Pogera Mine in Enga. Parties in April this year sanctioned a “Framework Agreement for the New Pogera Project” which spells out the roadmap to reopen the mine. Mark Bristow, CEO and President of Barrick Gold last week explained key elements of “Framework Agreement for the New Pogera Project” at a public forum at the Piam Oval in Pogera witnessed by PNG Prime Minister James Marape, landowners and other leaders. In the new agreement, PNG stakeholders will together own a 51 % equity stake in the mine while Barrick Niguini Limited (BNL), a joint venture company in which Barrick and Zijin Mining Group each own 50% will hold 49 %. BNL will remain the mine operator. At the end of the first ten year period, the PNG stakeholders will have the option to purchase BNL’s 49 % PNGEITI Head of Secretariat Lucas Alkan remarked that the open discussion throughout the negotiation process on the part of the mine operating lead, Government and landowners has culminated in this agreement signed happily by all parties. “We at the PNGEITI congratulate the Government and the project lead Barrick Gold and other stakeholders for reaching a consensus decision to reopen the mine. “Pogera has been an economic powerhouse for many years and people in the country have been waiting for the outcome. “We commend the Prime Minister, the President and CEO of Barrick Gold Mr. Mark Bristow for the leadership in ensuring that the negotiations were done in the transparent and open manner. “PNG Extractive Industries Transparency highly encourages such openness in the negotiating process for resources benefits and importantly the responsibilities that each stakeholder must take on to ensure smooth flow of proceeds. “We look forward to working with the Government and the project operator in the areas of transparency and accountability to help derive best value for all stakeholders. PNGEITI commitment to reporting on developments in the mining and petroleum space is becoming stronger with new reporting dimensions taking shape as we making progress in promoting transparency and accountability in the PNG mining and petroleum industry” Mr. Alkan said.
PNG Business News - June 14, 2021
BPNG Goes For Review
Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey has revealed the terms of reference for a review of the Bank of PNG, as well as the members of the review panel. Former Chief Secretary Robert Igara will lead the study, which was planned in the Supplementary Budget for 2020. Former central bank governor Sir Wilson Kamit and Australian professor Dr Stephen Howes are the two members. “These very eminent people, all of whom have detailed experience of the PNG financial system and reform, will be working to a term of reference approved recently by the NEC,” Ling-Stuckey said. “It is the first review of the central bank and the Central Banking Act 2002 since Sir Mekere Morauta’s financial system reforms when he was prime minister from 1999 to 2002. “Much has changed since then, and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, along with substantial technological advances, have made the need for a review even more urgent. “The aim is to modernise the bank and the legislation in line with international developments, and make it more responsive to prevailing circumstances while preserving its independence.” The study is scheduled to be finished in time for Parliament's November session. “An independent advisory group was also established by the late Sir Mekere when looking at the changes that led to the Central Banking Act 2000,” he said. “Igara, currently the University of Papua New Guinea chancellor, was chief secretary at the time, and Sir Wilson was the governor of the Central Bank. “Prof Howes, head of the Development Policy Centre at the Australian National University, has long been involved in PNG research and advice and consultation, particularly in relation to national development.” Reference: The National (8 June 2021). “BPNG going for review”.