PNG Ranked Amongst the Most Unattractive Countries for Mineral Investment
by PNG Business News - May 18, 2023
Photo: (L-R) President Anthony Smaré – PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Paul Hueper – Director of Energy and Mineral Programs for the Bureau of Energy Resources, US Department of State with his colleagues on the right, and MRA’s Managing Director Jerry Garry (centre) at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) in Toronto, Canada early in March 2023 promoting investments in PNG’s mineral sector.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been ranked as one of the least attractive jurisdictions globally for mining investment according to the Annual Survey of Mining Companies published recently by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank.
President of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Mr Anthony Smaré has called for urgent dialogue with National Government and all stakeholders to address this decline in PNG’s international standings. “The results of the Fraser Institute Global Survey shows how much PNG has fallen as an international destination for mining investment and needs to be urgently addressed if we are going to preserve this industry to benefit future generations beyond our current operating projects. If we want this industry to have a future, to continue to provide employment, business opportunities, royalties, dividends, taxes and other benefits for future generations, it is imperative that all stakeholders, led by the National Government, take note of these survey results, and engage in dialogue to urgently address the policy matters deterring investment in PNG, particularly regulatory uncertainty and aspects of our taxation incentives.”
The Fraser Institute’s global mining survey is the most comprehensive report on government policies that either attract or discourage mining investors. This year’s report ranks 62 jurisdictions around the world based on their geologic attractiveness (minerals and metals) and government policies that encourage or deter exploration and investment. PNG is ranked in the bottom seven countries in both Investment Attractiveness and Policy Perception.
In 2018, PNG ranked 41st out of 83 jurisdictions in the Investment Attractiveness Index and has now slipped to 54th out of 62 jurisdictions. PNG has slipped from ranking 61st out of 83 jurisdictions in the Policy Perception Index in 2018 to a new low of 57th out of 62 jurisdictions in 2022.
This decline in PNG’s standings is reflected in the significant drop off in exploration activity in PNG over the last 10 years. Records from the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) indicate a steady decrease in the number of explorations licenses issued since 2012 from 177 Exploration Licenses (Els) granted and 379 applications awaiting processing to the June 2022 numbers of 158 granted and 112 applications.
The Global Survey assesses how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulatory uncertainty affect exploration investment. The survey was circulated electronically to approximately 1,966 individuals between August 23rd to December 30th, 2022. Survey responses have been tallied to rank provinces, states, and countries according to the extent that public policy factors encourage or discourage mining investment.
An overall Investment Attractiveness Index is constructed by combining the Best Practices Mineral Potential index, which rates regions based on their geologic attractiveness, and the Policy Perception Index, a composite index that measures the effects of government policy on attitudes toward exploration investment.
Neighbouring Australia continues to be the most attractive region in the world for mining investment. Western Australia (2nd), Northern Territory (6th) and South Australia (9th) appeared in the global top 10 on the Investment Attractiveness Index in this year’s survey. Zimbabwe ranks as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world for investment with PNG slightly higher.
The ranking is a result of the survey responses from participants comprising of managers, executives mainly company presidents around the world in companies involved in mining exploration, development, and other related activities. All these respondents indicated that PNG’s legal system, infrastructure, political stability, and quality of the geological database are the main policy factors deterring investment.
Alarmingly, the report is an indication of how low PNG ranks globally, in terms of investability in the mining sector as the survey was designed to identify countries that have the most attractive policies for encouraging investment in mining exploration. And countries that investors assess as relatively unattractive may therefore be prompted to consider reforms that would improve their ranking. The Global Survey can be found here https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/annual-survey-of-mining-companies-2022
PNG Business News - October 24, 2022
Award winning journalist and Business Editor at The Australian Newspaper, TICKY FULLERTON is confirmed to moderate and host Day One of the 16th PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference and Exhibition to be held in Sydney 05 - 07 December 2022
With over twenty years at News Corp and the ABC (including as Business Editor), Presenter at Sky News and as an investigative reporter with Four Corners, there is no denying the illustrious Ticky Fullerton is a household name in Australian business circles. She is the author of Watershshed, the first comprehensive book on the future challenges facing Australia in water and the tensions between the many stakeholders in our water future and a director of the CRC for Irrigation futures. The 16th PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference (PNG’s leading investment conference) will be held at the Sydney Hilton Hotel and will feature addresses by government leaders from both PNG and Australia alongside presentations by the leading executives of mining, gas and energy companies with billions of dollars of investments in PNG. Attended by over 1300 international executives from the resources, energy, finance and development sectors, the event will focus on how global mining and energy players are navigating challenges and opportunities globally and the importance of PNG within those international portfolios. “We are excited to announce our return to not just live events but to Australia and to have the remarkable TICKY FULLERTON join us on stage to moderate our opening day at this years' 16th PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference. The three day event will feature keynote addresses by Australian Federal Government Representatives and PNG Ministers of Treasury, Mining, Petroleum and Energy. The chamber is thrilled to warmly welcome all our delegates and partners to what we know will be a stimulating and successful event; the premier meeting place for industry trade.” - Anthony Smare (President - PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum) Taking place over 3 days, the annual event allows delegates the unique opportunity to meet with senior decision makers, financiers, investors, operators, suppliers and stakeholders from the PNG minerals, gas and energy sector. As one of the premium events within the sector, the conference program will cover the successful operation of many existing mineral and energy operations, the next wave of new mega-projects and offer delegates the opportunity to learn how the global mining an energy players are navigating the current challenges and opportunities globally. Leading industry experts will discuss PNG’s contributions to global energy transition, including the development of its green hydrogen potential and how PNG looks to the future with its investing of resource-benefits for non-mining growth.
PNG Business News - October 31, 2022
Investors gear up for 2022 PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference
Photo credit: PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum The 16th PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference, to be held in Sydney in December, looks set to be sold out in the next 3 weeks with over half of the 1300 seats already snapped up with over a month to go until the Conference, amid a wave of interest from international investors, said PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum President Anthony Smaré. The PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum will host its 16th Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney from the 5th-7th of December 2022. The theme of this year’s conference is: “PNG Resources: Securing the next wave of responsible investment”. The PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference is PNG’s pre-eminent investment conference, held biennially in Sydney by the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum for over 30 years. The Conference’s purpose is to promote and celebrate investment opportunities in PNG’s resources sector which contributes nearly 90% of PNG’s exports. Its held in Sydney to make it easier for developers, explorers, investors, financiers, suppliers and other interested parties to attend from all over the world. The Conference has a track record of successfully complementing the National Government’s investment promotion efforts and helped attract billions of dollars of international investment into PNG’s resources sector over the past 30 years. The Conference draws over 1300 delegates from the global hydrocarbon, minerals and energy industries, the investment sector from around the globe, as well as representatives of the Australian Federal Government and the PNG Government including the Australian and PNG Prime Ministers and relevant sector Ministers. “Its been a tough couple of years for PNG and the world economically, but this is our opportunity, working together with Government, to promote investment in the PNG resources sector to international investors. We believe PNG has a lot to offer the world in terms of minerals and energy. The response from the PNG and international business community to the Conference has been very positive, with almost all sponsorship packages sold early, with all booths in the exhibition spaces sold out, and with the tickets selling rapidly, so I encourage anybody who is interested to go, to head to the conference website at www.pngconference.com and secure a seat” said Mr Smaré. “The Conference will complement the work that the Marape-Rosso Government has been doing around the world with promoting investment in PNG. Prime Minister Marape and Prime Minister Albanese have been invited to deliver the opening addresses, and the Conference will feature presentations by CEOs and senior executives of some of the world’s largest mining and energy companies, relevant sector Ministers and heads of PNG’s main regulatory agencies and state-owned entities. Day 1’s programme will be moderated by well-known Australian business media personality Ms Ticky Fullerton, Editor-at-large of the Australian newspaper and a former anchor of a number of Australia’s leading business TV programs. According to Mr Smaré “A successful Conference helps the National Government’s efforts with attracting international investment into our country, growing our jobs, creating jobs and business opportunities for PNG SMEs. And this year’s Conference is on track to be the best one yet.”
PNG Business News - November 07, 2022
PNG Government Officials & Sector Leaders Announced for 16th PNG Mining & Petroleum Investment Conference
The PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum will host its 16th Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney from the 5th-7th of December 2022. The theme of this year’s conference is: “PNG Resources: “Securing the next wave of responsible investment”. The Conference draws over 1000 delegates from the global hydrocarbon, minerals and energy industries, the investment sector from around the globe, and is shaping up to be their strongest event to date with the confirmation of the attendance of the PNG Prime Minister the Hon. James Marape (MP), the Hon. Sir Ano Pala (MP) - Minister for Mining (PNG Government) and the Hon. Kerenga Kua (MP) - Minister for Petroleum (PNG Government). Joining senior PNG government officials will also be some of the most prominent resources sector leaders including Mr. Sandeep Biswas (Managing Director and CEO - Newcrest), Mr. Peter Larden (Chairman and CEO - ExxonMobil PNG Ltd), Mr. Brett Darley (President Upstream Oil & Gas - Santos) and Mr. Musje Werror (Managing Director and CEO - Ok Tedi Mining). “As a 100% PNG owned mining company, Ok Tedi Mining Limited is once again delighted to participate in the PNG Mining & Petroleum conference and thank the PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum for organising this important international event. It is a great opportunity to provide an update of the operations and share the significant contributions Ok Tedi will be making to the Western Province and PNG with the extension of mine life to 2032 and beyond.” – OTML Managing Director and CEO Musje Werror The PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference is PNG’s preeminent investment conference, held biennially in Sydney with the goal of promoting investment opportunities in PNG’s resources sector which contributes nearly 90% of PNG’s exports. It’s held in Sydney to make it easier for developers, explorers, investors, financiers, suppliers and other interested parties to attend from all over the world. The Conference has a track record of successfully complementing the National Government’s investment promotion efforts and helped attract billions of dollars of international investment into PNG’s resources sector over the past 30 years. “Its been a tough couple of years for PNG and the world economically, but this is our opportunity, working together with Government, to promote investment in the PNG resources sector to international investors. We believe PNG has a lot to offer the world in terms of minerals and energy. The response from the PNG and international business community to the Conference has been very positive, with almost all sponsorship packages sold early, with all booths in the exhibition spaces sold out, and with the tickets selling rapidly, so I encourage anybody who is interested to go, to head to the conference website at www.pngconference.com and secure a seat” - said Mr Anthony Smaré (President PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum) Day 1’s programme will be moderated by well-known Australian business media personality Ms Ticky Fullerton, Editor-at-large of the Australian newspaper and a former anchor of a number of Australia’s leading business TV programs. According to Mr Smaré “A successful conference helps the National Government’s efforts with attracting international investment into our country, growing our jobs, creating jobs and business opportunities for PNG SMEs. And this year’s Conference is on track to be the best one yet.”
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
PNG PM Marape Participates in PIF Leaders Breakfast Caucas
Photo: PNG PM Marape Participates in PIF Leaders Breakfast Caucas Prior to the Korean-Pacific Islands Leaders (Kor-Pic) Meeting, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Marape joined other PIC Leaders for a breakfast caucus Chaired by Cook Islands Prime Minister and current Pacific Islands Forum Chair Mark Brown, to discuss the agenda and a common position on shared development issues. Prime Minister Marape said climate variation, being the perennial issue including sourcing appropriate development assistance from the Korean Government was high on the agenda. He said the encouragement during the caucus was for all PIC Leaders to discuss their developmental challenges and put forward their ideas on how Korean Development assistance could complement the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy. Following this caucus, Prime Minister Marape, met with Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles. Their discussions were centered around progress of the proposed Bilateral Security Treaty (BST), the recently concluded Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US, Visa issues and the PNG NRL Bid. On the BST, Prime Minister Marape mentioned that it was work in progress and required the PNG side to consult our domestic processes and sovereign laws in relation to certain wordings and provisions. He also conveyed his apologies to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for the delay in formalising this proposed Treaty with Australia. For the DCA with the US, Prime Minister Marape informed that it was centered around improving the PNGDF's capabilities and interoperability including protecting our frontiers and sovereignty. He said it was non-discriminatory and PNG was open to entering into similar arrangements with its bilateral partners. “In fact, the DCA would also complement domestic law enforcement,” Prime Minister Marape said. “The Ship Rider Agreement on the other hand was also vital in combating illegal fishing and transnational crimes.” For Visa issues, Deputy Prime Minister Marles informed that the current Australian Government was fully aware of the situation and following the Ministerial Forum in February this year in Canberra, had established a Joint Ministerial Team to work on bringing the Australian visa processing facility back on shore to PNG. Prime Minister Marape in his response said that all processes from both sides had to be attended to in order for smooth facilitation and for citizens and businesses to continue without much hindrance now and heading into 2050 when PNG celebrates 50 years of nationhood. On Papua New Guinea’s NRL Bid, Prime Minister Marape explained that PNG was still very keen as rugby league was a major unifying factor, bringing our 800 tribes together as one people. In closing Prime Minister Marape assured Deputy Prime Minister Marles that PNG in no way would compromise its excellent existing bilateral relations with Australia and further stressed that PNG was capable of managing its sovereign affairs on its terms, systems and processes.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
ADB Helps Launch Vocational Education Project in PNG
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) today launched a cofinanced project to improve the country’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program. PNG's Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso delivered a keynote address at the launch event at Port Moresby Technical College. PNG’s Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, and Sports Don Polye, ADB Country Director for Papua New Guinea David Hill, and Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Paul Lehmann all spoke at the event. The Improved Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Employment Project financed by ADB and the governments of Australia and PNG will strengthen the country’s TVET program and help prepare students to be more competitive and responsive to employment and industry demands. “We hope this project will become a model for all vocational education and skills training in TVET colleges in the country,” said Mr. Rosso. “The beneficiaries of this project—young, skilled workers, including women and men—represent PNG’s future, and through this project, the future of vocational education in PNG looks bright.” This project aims to boost the numbers of skilled workers in the construction and agriculture sectors where demand is high. “We will work with our partners to help advance reforms in the vocational education and skills training space in PNG,” said Mr.Hill. “These sought-after skills in priority sectors will help grow PNG’s economy.” The TVET sector of PNG’s education system comprises public, religious, or private institutions, including technical and business colleges offering postsecondary courses and vocational training. “The Australian government is pleased to be supporting the Government of Papua New Guinea to achieve its reform goals in technical and vocational education and training to increase the number and quality of skilled workers,” said Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Paul Lehmann. “My vision for the TVET for Employment Project is that it will perform as an innovation and technology business incubator across PNG,” said Mr. Polye. “The project is the embodiment of a new approach—building a culture of quality education and innovation in a renewed and revitalized TVET sector.” The Improved Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Employment Project is funded through a $50 million concessional loan from ADB and a $10.6 million grant from Australia. The Government of PNG is also contributing $5.7 million. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
PNG Forges an Innovation-fueled Partnership with South Korea in Digital Transformation
Papua New Guinea was amongst seven other Pacific Island countries to sign a partnership statement of intent with the Republic of Korea to further cooperation and partnership in digital transformation. Information and Communications Technology Minister Timothy Masiu, who also was appointed co- chair of the just concluded Korea -Pacific Islands Digital Ministerial Conference in Seoul, South Korea, signed the statement together with the meeting chairman Korean Minister for Science and ICT Dr Lee Jong-Ho. The others who signed the partnership intent are Tonga, Nauru, Samoa, Palau, Cook Islands and Kiribati. Australia and the World Bank also attended the meeting as supporting partners. The Statement of Intent states; The partnership recognize digitalization has transformed not only daily lives but also shapes innovation in all sectors including politics, economy, society, culture and environment. Recognize and note that digital technology offers great potential to address various social economic challenges that come with rapid transformation of society. Agree on continued partnership in digital transformation inclusive of sustainable development will be the key to future prosperity of the people of Korea and the pacific. Agree on sharing digital vision of policies will pave way for strong partnership to digital co-prosperity. Mr Masiu expressed deep satisfaction that Korea , the global leading innovation country, has agreed to partner with Pacific countries including Papua New Guinea in digital transformation that will greatly enhance communication in a vast area like the Pacific and more so, strengthen supporting technology to better access to health, education and business. He told the conference that Papua New Guinea has begun the digital transformation with Parliament passing the Digital Government Act 2022 and relevant policies, and welcomed the partnership with the Republic of Korea, which he says, will go a long way in progressing the digital transformation agenda for PNG and the region. Mr Masiu had bilateral meeting with his South Korean counterpart, further seeking a stronger country to country relations in digital transformation and support to the National Broadcasting Corporation proposing a partnership between the NBC and the Korean Broadcasting Services. The Minister has formally invited the Korean Minister for Science and ICT to visit Papua New Guinea for the Pacific ICT meeting in August 2023 or to accompany the South Korean President who has been invited by Prime Minister James Marape to visit PNG. Mr Marape was in Seoul also this week for the Korea- Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting. Minister Dr Lee Jong-Ho acknowledges the leadership of Papua New Guinea in digital transformation and reaffirmed its support to PNG and the other Pacific Island countries.