Watou and Talpos RC drilling – reinforces Mining Lease and regional exploration potential
by PNG Business News - July 31, 2022
Photo credit: Geopacific Resources - Figure 1: Mining Lease exploration target areas
Geopacific Resources Limited is pleased to provide an update on its exploration drilling campaign at the Woodlark Gold Project.
- Drill holes in to the Talpos and Watou targets generated several positive results including:
- TARC22008: 11 metres at 3.04g/t Au from 49 metres and 11 metres at 0.74g/t Au from 63 metres; and
- TARC22003: 3 metres at 2.66g/t Au from 32 metres.
- WTRC22006B: 10 metres at 2.80g/t Au from 68 metres, including 4 metres at 5.35g/t Au from 69 metres.
- The Company has received the first 18 holes from the recently undertaken regional drilling campaign at the Project.
- Results highlight the potential of the Talpos and Watou targets, located at the southern end of the Mining Lease, and demonstrate the broader regional exploration opportunities on Woodlark Island.
- A further 7 holes from the exploration campaign have been completed with samples currently in the laboratory awaiting assay.
- The RC drilling program is ongoing and drilling activities will accelerate following the arrival of a diamond drill rig.
- These results at Watou and Talpos continue to grow the broader geological understanding of the Woodlark Gold Project and reinforce the potential for resource growth to be delivered by testing priority exploration targets across the Mining Lease.
PNG Business News - July 08, 2021
Geopacific Receives K257.5M Funding
Geopacific Resources Ltd has received funding of AU$100 million (K257.5 million) for the construction of its gold and silver mine on Woodlark Island in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Chairman Ian Clyne stated that the money will come from a loan facility. He expressed gratitude to the Mineral Resources Authority for assisting in the successful development of the Woodlark Island gold mine. He said that it allowed Geopacific Resources to obtain "complete finance" to begin development, with the goal of pouring the first gold next year. According to Clyne, the Kula Gold legacy of huge losses for international investors meant that there was less demand for the Woodlark Project in particular. Despite substantial marketing efforts to banks and speciality industry lenders, loan demand remained severely restricted. The international worry about PNG's political danger was a key issue. The effective and timely implementation of an agreement, according to Clyne, is a key confidence builder for foreign investors. “The professionalism of the PNG Government teams was a major factor,” he said. “This was an extremely difficult project to get funded, especially given the PNG/BSP perspective of historic international investor and lender appetite.” Jerry Garry, MRA's managing director, praised Geopacific for securing finance for the project's development. This, he added, indicated that investors have faith in the country's extractive industry. Following MRA's intervention, Garry noticed that Geopacific Resources had upgraded its dwelling plans for the relocation exercise. “To raise AU$140 million (K54.3mil) in new equity in Dec/Jan and to recently close out the AU$100 million (K257.7mil) debt facility was the result of a massive amount of extremely professional work by Tim Richards (Geopacific Resources Ltd chief executive officer) and his team and with the board’s backing, in building international financial market’s confidence,” Garry said. Reference: Pacific Mining Watch. “Geopacific secures K257 million for Gold and Silver mine project in PNG”.
PNG Business News - November 19, 2021
Woodlark Gold Project Delayed
Photo credit: Geopacific Resources The developer stated that work on the Woodlark Gold Project is now delayed and behind schedule. In an update, Geopacific Resources Limited reported that the company has decided to postpone the project until Q1/Q2 2022. The impact of unseasonal inclement weather, according to the firm, has resulted in a short-term worsening in ground conditions, reducing the capacity to undertake the civil works program in preparation for the CIL plant's construction. COVID-19 cases have continued to climb across Papua New Guinea, with a flow-on impact to the rest of the country, due to a lack of project construction on the island at the level necessary to guarantee work streams were performed cost effectively and efficiently. Geopacific remains dedicated to assisting in the implementation of this essential health program as quickly as feasible. The corporation has also opted to revisit the original wharf design and consider a potential improvement of the current wharf facilities in order to minimize costs and construction complexity while increasing community involvement in the project. According to the firm, design and engineering work for the offshore component of the tailings pipeline is behind schedule, which is delaying the issuance of construction tenders required to finalize capital estimates. Chief executive officer, Tim Richards said, “Whilst the delays in the Project are disappointing, they should not take away from the quality of the underlying asset base. Woodlark is a compelling project, with a goal of producing over 1 million ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of A$1,239 per ounce during the asset's life. “We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of the delays on the Project schedule, and post the completion of the Project review we will update the market to the extent of the impacts on the Project Execution Plan. “Importantly, we continue to progress exploration, with these activities continuing. There remains significant exploration potential at the Project, which we expect will result in additional value creation at Woodlark.” Reference: Post-Courier (17 November 2021). “Woodlark Gold Project Faces Delay”.
PNG Business News - January 17, 2022
Geopacific Resources Appoints Andrew Bantock as Chairman
Photo credit: Geopacific Resources The Board of Geopacific Resources Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Andrew Bantock as Chairman and director of Geopacific, and the retirement of Mr. Ian Clyne as Chairman and director of the Company. Mr. Bantock has significant experience leading listed and private businesses, both in Australia and offshore, with an acknowledged track record in corporate finance and commercial leadership. Throughout his career, Mr. Bantock has established a track record for successfully building and improving businesses’ operations and financial structures, developing and communicating their vision and strategy and building and leading high performing teams. Mr. Bantock will work with Geopacific’s Management, the Board and the Company’s consultants to assess the optimal operational model, development plan and funding requirements for the Woodlark Gold Project under the review announced to the market on 15 December 2021, as well as the long-term strategy for the Company. Geopacific Nomination and Remuneration Committee Chair, Mr. Ian Murray said: “Andrew brings a fresh perspective, relevant expertise and the ability to thoroughly assess the Company’s requirements and path forward. His proven leadership, financial and business improvement skills will be invaluable both for the Company’s short-term imperatives and the implementation of its long-term strategy. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Mr. Ian Clyne for his dedicated service as Chairman of Geopacific and the achievements during his tenure. We wish Ian all the best in his future endeavours. ” Mr. Bantock said: “It is an important time for Geopacific and I look forward to applying my experience and skills, with the support of the executive management and Board of Geopacific and its consultants, to assess, develop and implement the path forward for the Company. With A$50.9 million of unrestricted net cash reserves and no debt at 31 December 2021, the Company is positioned with a number of strategic options to grow shareholder value”. Background information regarding Mr. Bantock and key terms of appointment Mr. Bantock’s role will be as Non-Executive Chairman of Geopacific, however he has committed in the short-term to a greater involvement in the oversight of the review workstreams currently underway at the Company. Details of the material terms of the arrangements for the provision of Mr. Bantock’s services are set out in an appendix to this announcement. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with a leading global firm, working in Australia and the UK, Mr. Bantock commenced his commercial career with ASX/NZSE listed GRD Group, owner of New Zealand’s largest gold producer, Macraes Mining (later Oceana Gold), and well-known resource project design and construction engineer, GRD Minproc. Mr. Bantock later become Finance Director of GRD, also serving six years as a Non- Executive Director of Western Australia’s water utility, Water Corporation, where he chaired the Audit and Compliance Committee. Mr. Bantock subsequently helped to establish and co-lead an ASX listed exploration group, in various roles, including as founding Executive Chairman of Chalice Gold Mines Ltd and founding Managing Director of Liontown Resources Ltd, before being recruited back to a senior finance role, as CFO of Glencore’s Australian nickel business. Mr Bantock is currently a Senior Managing Director of FTI Consulting (FTI Consulting), an independent global business advisory firm where he leads the Perth Business Transformation practice and co-leads the national mining advisory practice, assisting clients to develop and implement business improvement and growth strategies, supported by detailed business case analysis, financing strategies and hands-on execution. Andrew is also Chairman of Elevate Uranium Limited (ASX: EL8). FTI Consulting is providing the services of Mr. Bantock as director and non-executive Chairman of Geopacific under a consultancy agreement. Separately, FTI Consulting has been engaged to assist the Company and work alongside the existing independent technical advisors appointed by the Company over the next three months (subject to any extension) to perform a detailed diagnostic review, make recommendations to the Board on the strategy for the Company and assist with the implementation of key action items, whether through the provision of advice or by providing senior management support and resources. This arrangement has been agreed on normal ‘arms length’ terms and includes appropriate conflict measures. Article courtesy of Geopacific Resources
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PNG Business News - August 12, 2022
Going Green: FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG Programme provides green-powered facility to local agricultural authorities to effectively service rural farmers
EU Funded UN Joint STREIT Programme in Papua New Guinea establishes a renewable energy-powered facility to support local government authorities in East Sepik Province, in delivering effective services to rural farmers and entrepreneurs. With generous support of the European Union, the FAO-led EU STREIT Programme officially opened a new 3 cluster office building on 10 August 2022, to host the Programme along with the East Sepik provincial divisions of Agriculture and Livestock, Cocoa Board and the National Agriculture Quarantine & Inspection Authority. The new-look office building is powered by 189 solar panels, which significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the collective dependence on fossil fuel. The solar panels supply the building with 90 KW of energy, relieving the resident agencies and authorities from relying on fossil-generated electricity for their needs, including lighting, ICT, water pumping, and temperature control. This zero-carbon-emission facility has the capacity to accommodate around 90 experts, technicians and extension service officers. Equipped with 120 batteries, the building can support staff’s operation for 36 hours in case of experiencing high cloud cover. The building, currently co-resided by the Programme and provincial agricultural bodies, will be transferred over to the East Sepik Provincial Administration at the end of the Programme and will continue to provide a sustainable base for sustainable support to agriculture-related services in the Province. Officiating the opening ceremony, His Excellency Ambassador Jernej Videtič, Head of the European Union Delegation to PNG, in his address, said: “I am happy to be here and to see that things are moving in the right direction to bring sustainable benefits to the people of East Sepik” Ambassador Videtič further highlighted that “with resources from the citizens of Europe to fund the EU-STREIT Programme in providing training, tools and support, the quantity and quality of cocoa, vanilla and fisheries products will increase. The objective is also to protect these quality products in international markets under the EU-STREIT introduced initiative of Geographical Indication.” The East Sepik Acting Deputy Provincial Administrator, Mr James Baloiloi, in his speech expressed his appreciation to the EU for funding the EU-STREIT Programme and the interventions that the Programme is doing in East Sepik and Sandaun provinces. “The STREIT Programme has gone ahead to introduce a culture of agribusiness that now enables the people of this Province and the people of Sandaun Province to have cash income that can sustain their livelihoods.” Mr Baloiloi added, “this infrastructure and building supports us and facilitates the service delivery to our people in this Province as well as Sandaun Province.” Thanking the EU for its generous funding support, Dr Xuebing Sun, the EU-STREIT Programme Coordinator, said: “the Programme has generated substantial impacts at beneficiary, local institutions and enabling business environment levels. This would not be possible with good partnership, increased ownerships and leaderships of the governments and implementing partners.” “This co-residing and close co-operation among UN agencies and their national partners in this integrated space reflect the partnership approach taken by the Programme to sustainably develop agri-enterprise activities in the region,” added Dr Xuebing Sun, adding “the new climate-friendly facility, which is fully powered by solar energy, also provides a space to welcome, advise and serve the farmers, including interested women and youth, who play very important roles along agri-food value chains”. “This kind of ‘green investment’ enables a shift to a more green economy for local institutions and infrastructure to meet cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains stakeholders” advised Anthony Bennett, the FAO Lead Technical Officer of the EU-STREIT PNG Programme. United Nations’ implementing partners supporting the FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG present in the office include the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The EU-STREIT PNG is being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as implementing partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the Country and the Pacific region. It focuses on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through increasing the economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains and strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
CPAPNG annual meet to discuss global changes
Certified Practicing Accountants of Papua New Guinea will be hosting their 23rd annual conference with about 400 participants nationwide expected to attend the two day conference organized by CPA PNG in Lae Morobe Province from August 18 to19, 2022 CPAPNG was established in 1974 and has come a long way with a lot of achievements along the way. Over the years its membership grew from mere numbers to just below 2000 which includes 40% locals and 60% non-citizens. . The CPA PNG conference is one of CPAs three significant annual events on their calendar with this year's conference theme; Is PNG prepared for the recession?" The conference will see certain key leaders in executive management roles from both the public and private sector delivering presentations in line with the conference theme. CPA PNG's Executive Director Mr. Yuwak Tau said the theme of the conference was selected because there was a decline in the global economy and the general so when that eventuates small economies tend to be affected. He added that they have basically selected the theme that was current and appropriate so that members would find relevance during the course of the conference. “The meeting is to create intellectual and interactive discussions with seasoned business leaders to present and share their ideas and experiences to find probable outcomes within their business environment and industries in times of economic uncertainty”. Some of the topics to be presented by consultants are current significant issues such as crypto currency, transport pricing, bit coin block chain technology and stress management. This were some topics that people have heard about but have not really ventured into. Mr. Tau added that it would be quite hard to measure the benefits immediately but the participants will be able to look at insights shared during the conference that would be appropriate in the areas of employment, accounting, finance, auditing and others. The conference will create an environment where participants can also share information so That they can take points to apply in their work place and industries. In relation the Kumul petroleum Holdings had also presented a cheque of K50, 000 to support the coming event at their head office. The cheque was presented by KPHL's executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Luke Liria and was received by CPA PNG Chairman Richard Kuna. Mr. Liria said KPHL has appreciated the effort put in by CPA PNG to ensure that its members in State owned enterprises and the private sector were given appropriate level of training and as part of KPHL's corporate social responsibility and commitment they hope that their support will continue to help the organization facilitate and make sure the accounting practices is of international standards. CPA PNG's Chairman, Richard Kuna acknowledged KPHL for their support and stated that he was looking forward to seeing KPHL being a big part of the upcoming conference.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
BSP: Small to Medium Enterprises Loans reaches 60% rate.
Bank South Pacific's Financial Group Ltd Chief executive officer Mr. Robin Fleming has recently announced that the bank has granted more than K200 million as loans to small to medium enterprises under its credit scheme facility that the then Marape government had released to the bank to support Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and local businesses during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Fleming said about 1523 customer loans have been approved, that is about 60% of loan approval rates since 2019. Prior to this announcement BSP and the Department of Commerce and Industry (DCI) had agreed to increase the maximum loan under the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) credit enhancement facility to K5 million. The previous limit was K3 million when the Government first released K100 million as security to the bank under its K200 million SME allocation for BSP to rollout the loan facility last year. Fleming stated that even though they have exhausted and rolled out the bulk of the governments relief funds for SME's they will still be running the SME loan program under its credit facility scheme “At this stage, BSP has not received the funding planned for this year but that is not preventing BSP from giving loans under the facility”. “There remains significant capacity for BSP to continue to assess, approve and funds loans under the facility”. “The agreement with the Government did provide for momentum in the SME facility to be maintained while allowing for the Government budget and funding process to be adhered to”. As part of the government SME relief funding, Commercial Banks were allocated K200 million with BSP Financial Group receiving K100 million, NDB K80 million and another K20 million was allocated to the department of Commerce and Industry BSP could not comment on how the National Development Bank (NDB) is dealing with the K80 million it received, but the intent, when discussions were initiated, was that BSP would be lending to more mature SMEs and NDB to startup ventures. In addition to enabling SMEs to access lower cost of funds through the facility with BSP, the bank has also made it a responsibility to ensure that Government funding is preserved by not approving loans that have a higher risk of default.