BPNG: Headline Inflation to be About 4%
by PNG Business News - August 30, 2021
Photo Credit: UMM PNG
The Bank of PNG (BPNG) expects headline inflation to be about 4% this year, down from 5.1 per cent in December of last year.
The raw inflation amount provided by the consumer price index is known as headline inflation.
Inflation in Papua New Guinea climbed from 2.9 per cent in 2019 to 5.1 per cent in December 2020, according to BPNG governor Loi Bakani.
“This was because of the impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic with rising prices for seasonal products as the supply chain of some of these products went up and prices in medical services also increased,” he said.
“We are lucky at the moment because inflation is not that high.”
However, he said the rates did not reflect the real people faced every day.
“This statistical indicator of what the movement of prices is over time, (and) does not tell you the real prices on the shelves, the markets, service fees,” Bakani said.
“They are totally two different things.”
He stated that the government continues to confront budgetary problems in 2020 as a result of poor tax collection and higher spending compared to 2019.
Bakani attributed this year's economic rebound to the relaxation of lockdown measures, fiscal stimulus in key economies, vaccine rollouts in the second half of 2020, and new business models.
However, he added, there are still concerns about the development of a new Covid-19 strain, the growing mortality toll, vaccine rollout pace, and the efficiency of different policy initiatives.
He cautioned companies and individuals against lowering their guard.
Reference: The National (24 August 2021).”BPNG predicts headline inflation to be around 4pc”.
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”.
PNG Business News - August 23, 2021
Bakani Says to Increase Exports
Increased exports are the greatest way to boost PNG's foreign exchange. During the Certified Practising Accountants of PNG conference in Lae, Governor of the Bank of PNG, Loi Bakani, made this remark. The Momase and Highlands area conference of the Certified Practising Accountants of PNG began on Thursday at the Lae International Hotel. Bakani spoke on how the global economic crisis has affected PNG's foreign exchange market. During question time, one audience member brought out Kina's 41% depreciation from 2012 to 2020. Bakani reacted by claiming that export encouragement would have kept the Kina stable. “For us now to be able to support the foreign exchange, it means for us as advisers to look at ways of minimizing our imports,” he replied. “We encourage more exports. Minimizing imports will reduce the demand for foreign exchange, and that’s why the Kina can remain stable and if we have more foreign exchange coming in, the Kina will go up.” PNG, according to Bakani, is an "import-dependent country." While the current inflation rate is 3.3 percent, he explained that the unpleasant truth can be seen on store shelves. He feels that encouraging the agriculture sector and getting large projects like the Wafi-Golpu mine and Papua LNG off the ground are the best ways to alleviate PNG's financial load. Reference: Gware, Carmelita. Loop (21 August 2021). “Increase exports, stresses Bakani”.
PNG Business News - August 30, 2021
Bakani: Agriculture and SME Policy Improvements Would Enhance Kina
Policy changes in agricultural and small-to-medium companies, according to Bank of PNG Governor Loi Bakani, would boost the PNG Kina versus other currencies. Bakani warned stakeholders at a CPA conference in Lae that the country has been missing out on a golden chance for years. He said that the value of the PNG Kina has fallen by 41% between 2012 and 2020. The kina value versus the US dollar was as high as 0.4 toea when the PNG Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant began exporting. “When foreign exchange from PNGLNG stopped, there wasn’t sufficient forex coming in or from other mining or non-mineral sectors to sustain the appreciation of kina,” he said. Bakani said if policies were in place to encourage the agriculture and SME sectors, import substitution and export promotion, kina would have remained stable. “In the last two years, we’ve seen a big pick-up in the export of non-minerals, especially in agriculture, to generate a lot of forex.” He advised stakeholders to cut imports and increase exports. The Wafi-Golpu project, the Porgera mine, and the Papua LNG projects, according to Bakani, have the potential to reverse the trend and boost the Kina. “This is the idea to address this shortcoming with the PNG LNG project where the government gets early revenue, the foreign exchange comes to banks and helps exchange rates to appreciate.” Reference: The National (25 August 2021). “Bakani: Policy reforms in agriculture, SME will strengthen Kina”.
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