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PNG Business News - June 07, 2022

Simberi mining plants mangroves for ‘Only One Earth’

Photo credit: PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Twenty employees from St Barbara Limited’s Simberi Operations observed the World Environment Day by planting more than 200 mangrove shoots (young trees) at Pikinur along the airport runway at Simberi, New Ireland Province. Led by the General Manager, Randy McMahon and the Environment team, the employees were transferred by shuttle buses to the planting site at 6am on Sunday 5 June. After a briefing on the process involved and a message from Randy, they dispersed throughout the 0.5-hectare area and began planting. The activity continued yesterday on Monday 6 June - this time with students from Simberi Primary School, taking some time out of classes to plant another 100 shoots. The session was also facilitated by the company’s Environment team. Randy and Acting Environment Manager, Faith Angoro acknowledged the effort by the employees to honour St Barbara’s (Simberi’s operator) commitment of respecting the environment through the activity while emphasising the important role of mangroves in the ocean’s ecosystem. “Mangroves aren’t just trees; they are the nursery for the ocean. Planting a mangrove is putting a nursery in the ground. It benefits the ocean and the land,” said Randy. Environment assistant and Bekou villager Jacinta Peter re-enforced the GM’s message saying, “mangroves are important to the marine ecosystem of Simberi, Tatau and Big Tabar. They prevent land erosion and absorb storm surges during extreme weather. They also provide a rich source of food.” Some employees intend to monitor the shoots they planted yesterday to see how well they grow in the coming months and years. The shoots can reach up to a metre within two years if they get adequate nutrients. Mangroves are home to fish species like barramundi, mangrove jack and mud crabs, which employees from Simberi enjoy regularly for dinner.   Article courtesy of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum

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PNG Business News - June 03, 2022

Resource Sector’s Preferred Camp Provider

Photo: Ark buildings are easily assembled by local workers, thus assisting developers achieve their local content objectives by providing training and employment for people in their footprint communities Prefabricated modular building supplier, Ark Pacific, continues to increase its market share in the provision of camps across PNG’s resource sector. With a low freight footprint (up to 75 percent less) and proven commitment to quality and after sales service, Ark’s fit-for-purpose buildings are perfect for camps and a multitude of other building types required by mining and oil and gas operations.  Introduced to PNG during the LNG construction phase in 2010 for a 1,000 person multi-storey camp accommodation complex and office facilities, there are now thousands of Ark building modules around the country.  Significantly, all of Ark’s buildings are assembled by local community workforces, thus helping developers achieve their local content objectives. Ark has long-term building supply partnerships with several of its resource clients.  General Manager, Cassius Ruka, who spent his childhood in PNG as well as most of his working life, knows the importance of building genuine client partnerships.  Central to these partnerships is Ark’s commitment to after sales service and continuous quality improvement. “We do whatever we can to make our buildings even better for our clients.  Right now, Ark Pacific, is engaged in the process of working closely with one of PNG’s biggest mines to further improve the quality, design, constructability, and longevity of their buildings.  This has involved carrying out inspections and conducting interviews with a range of stakeholders, including asset owners, construction project managers, maintenance coordinators, and facility end users.  The data we’re gathering from this process will be used to develop an even better product, that is buildings that are increasingly fit for purpose, have enhanced longevity, and can accommodate the mine’s unique environmental factors and remoteness.” Ruka is well versed in the challenges remotely located resource operations face when it comes to procuring camp accommodation and other buildings.  “Irrespective of whether you’re an island operation like Lihir or a highland operation like Porgera, you need to be 100 percent certain that your buildings – which represent a major capex investment – are durable and can withstand whatever nature throws at them.  Sulphur and salt, as well as excessive rain and moisture will all reduce building longevity.  You also need to be able to get the buildings to site as easily and cost-effectively as possible which is incredibly difficult given remoteness combined with the state of our road network and current freight prices.” Ark modular building units are engineered specifically for the harsh conditions of remote resource operations. Furthermore, clients can save up to 75 percent on their freight costs because Ark’s modular componentry is specifically engineered so that six of its flat pack units are equivalent to a single 20-foot shipping container when stacked together ready for transport.  “In other words,” says Ruka, “instead of using five, six or seven trucks to get our units to the job site, the client only needs one.” In addition to the low freight costs and durability associated with Ark Pacific’s prefabricated modular building systems, Ruka says his resource clients also benefit from: After sales services:  Regular follow up and ongoing communication (i.e., not just from design through to handover, but for years afterwards).  Quality guarantee:  Cost of any defects 100 percent covered by Ark. Multiple configurations:  Modules can be utilised for a multitude of building types and layouts (i.e., a range of ancillary buildings in addition to camps, such as offices, laboratories, messes, etc.,) Furniture and equipment supply:  From office and bedroom furniture to commercial laundry and kitchen equipment. Local workforce assembly:  Developer achieves local content objectives and local workers secure training and employment. Repurposability: Unbolt and disconnect the modules from one another to transport to another site and bolt them back together in a similar or different configuration. Buildings that ‘Give Back to PNG’:  The repurposability of Ark buildings mean that they can be donated to footprint communities after they’re no longer needed by the developer. To learn more about Ark Pacific, including its diverse range of fit for purpose camps and ancillary buildings, as well as the advantages of its unique building systems: www.arkpacific.net

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Paul Oeka - June 03, 2022

PNG AIR CELEBRATES 35 YEARS

Photo: PNG Air 35th Anniversary Launching One of Papua New Guinea’s Leading Airlines PNG Air has marked and is celebrating 2022 as its 35th anniversary year.  PNG Air has been taking Papua New Guinea and Papua New Guineans to their destinations since its initial beginnings as Milne Bay Airlines (MBA) right through to the airlines transition to PNG Air for 35 years. The Airline’s history dates back to the late 80’s in the beautiful Island Province of Milne bay.  The company was established and started operations on June 30th 1987 as Milne Bay Airlines (MBA) by founder Sir John Wild who was a naturalized citizen of Papua New Guinea and an architect. Sir John Wild was also an avid and passionate aviator who owned an Amphibian aircraft which he was asked to provide a service to fly to and from the remotest and far-fetched parts of the islands in the Milne Bay province. Now as the Airline Company looks ahead and celebrates 35 years of service to Papua New Guineans it also reflects on the tale of how a humble airline company which started off with an amphibious aircraft in Milne Bay Province became a fully-fledged national carrier flying over 500,000 passengers a year. It’s a story of innovation – 35 years ago PNG Air began its Journey when some of their first flights flew around the scattered Islands of Milne Bay under the Milne bay Airlines (MBA) Brand to operating as one of PNG's leading Airline carrier today. In the years that followed after MBA's establishment the airline underwent its first major rebrand from Milne Bay Airlines to Milne Bay Airlines of PNG to focus on new opportunities which also included chartered flights for the Country's resource sector. In 2001 the Airline was renamed to Airlines PNG boasting a fleet of 26 Aircrafts signifying a new era for the company's future as it grew to be regarded as the people's airline, providing affordable and value airfares. Within that period PNG Air also transitioned into a public company when entering the Port Moresby stock exchange. Since then it has been governed by seasoned and experienced Board of Directors. Eventually after 14 years as a fully-fledged commuter Airline the company signed a contract to acquire seven ATR 72-600 series aircrafts which gave way to the rebranding and launch of the company to PNG Air on November 5th 2015. As PNG Air embarks on the beginning of its next endeavors in conjunction with the anniversary the company's Chief Commercial Officer Mr. Simon C Pitt said, “To commemorate this Milestone we've commissioned a special 35th anniversary Logo that will set the benchmark for all the activities we plan to do this year. The Logo is a representation of all the distinct elements of our livery, represented through the bird of Paradise". Over the past three and a half decades, PNG Air has grown from a small airline company to one that has thrust its way out across the whole of Papua New Guinea. Throughout it all, PNG Air’s enduring purpose has been to connect customers to the people, places, and experiences they love the most.

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PNG Business News - May 23, 2022

OTML UNION & MANAGEMENT SIGN 2023 INDUSTRIAL AGREEMENT

Photo: Members of the OTML Joint Working Party of Union and Management leaders and the Managing Director & CEO, Musje Werror at the signing. Also present to co-sign and witness the event was Industrial Relations Acting Manager, Wala Iga, and Industrial Registrar, Helen Saleu. Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) and the Ok Tedi Mining & Allied Workers Union (OTAWU) signed a new Industrial Agreement on the 19th of May allowing for the implementation of additional benefits that will address the long-term welfare of OTML employees and their families. The new 5 Year Industrial Agreement will be implemented from 1st January 2023 and will be in effect until the end of 2027. The previous Industrial Agreement signed in 2019 was valid for three years. The new Agreement was signed following two-days of consultations between OTML’s Management Team and the OTMAWU Executives. Acting President of the OTMAWU, Kevin Onde, thanked the OTML Management team for honouring the MoU signed on 9th December 2021 for extending the terms of the 2019 Industrial Agreement and paving the way for the new agreement. “The wishes of the Union members have been heard and will soon be materialised in the coming months. The consultation has ended on a high note with a gain for all employees. It is a milestone achievement in itself for the company and the employees where maturity was displayed in the last few days, and the results are now tangible,” said Mr Onde. OTML Managing Director & CEO, Musje Werror, said it was a historic achievement, one that would not be possible without the positive culture in OTML. “Over the last 3 years we started to build on the trust and respect between management and the workforce and to strengthen our culture which is demonstrated by the successful discussions and the signing of the Industrial Agreement in the same week." Mr Werror also acknowledged the efforts of the workforce over the last two years, which had been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the significant challenges brought on by the pandemic the Company was able to generate PGK 1 billion in dividends for its shareholders over this period. “I look forward to the continuous support from the workforce to realise our Vision 2025 and make Ok Tedi the best mining company in PNG,” added Mr Werror. The 2023 Industrial Agreement was co-signed by Acting Manager Industrial Relations, Mr Wala Iga, and witnessed by Industrial Registrar, Ms Helen Saleu, in Port Moresby. Ms Saleu commended the Ok Tedi Union citing the recent negotiations and the signing was a benchmark achievement for all unions and their management teams in the industry and country. She said, “The Ok Tedi Union and Management should be used as role models for other union negotiations and industrial agreement discussions in the future. The trust and respect shared by the OTML union and management has led to this successful and mature negotiation and the signing showcases a genuine relationship bond with the employees and the management aligned with achieving a win-win outcome for its employees and the Company.”   Article courtesy of Ok Tedi Mining

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PNG Business News - May 17, 2022

iPi Catering: Seven decades of quality brewing

Renowned as Papua New Guinea’s most iconic beer brand-SP Lager has indeed been uniting Papua New Guineans since 1952. With South Pacific Brewery celebrating SP Lager’s 70th anniversary this year, iPi Catering is beyond honoured and elated to be part of this monumental journey. South Pacific Brewery has long been a highly valued partner of iPi Catering and the company is nothing less than delighted in and with their decade long business partnership. iPi Catering Limited’s General Manager, Peter Long, reflected on this remarkable milestone and said, “our friendship with SP Brewery humbly began over our mutual attendance at Sunday footy in Lae and from there, iPi Catering began catering for the good and decent people at the Lae Brewery; a time later, this included the Port Moresby Brewery.” As the South Pacific Brewery’s operations thrived, so too did iPi Catering grow in conjunction with the Brewery.  iPi Catering shares similar sentiments with SP Brewery’s commitment of respect for diversity in people, gender equity and, from a business lean, delivering the very best of product and service. Across the first decade of thier partnership with the SP Brewery, they soundly maintained food safety and quality accordingly; this whilst remaining focus on a continuous innovative approach to ensure top tier service delivery. This was especially seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hand in hand with the SP Brewery, iPi Catering responded and adapted proactively to the ‘new normal’ by reconfiguring the interior dining facility and opened the POM Brew Kettle as a secondary dining outlet to ensure social distancing for the SP Brewery staff. In addition, they were more than happy to comply with COVID-19 rules and regulations where their staff in Lae and Port Moresby were the first caterers to be 100 per cent vaccinated in light of the vaccine rollout in Papua New Guinea. At the heart of this milestone, their skilled and dedicated team has always focused on providing nutritious and delicious meals for the SP Brewery staff knowing that it is vital towards achieving employee productivity, boosting employee morale, maintaining employee focus whilst on duty, promoting healthy eating habits, reduced facility down time and an increased bottom line. “We are immensely grateful that SP Brewery continues to put their trust in us in ensuring employee satisfaction. Congratulations SP Lager on seven decades of quality brewing,” said Mr Long.

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PNG Business News - May 17, 2022

Vulco® R67 mill lining rubber compound: the liner that lasts longer

Photo credit: Weir Minerals As a leader in materials development and advancement, the team of material scientists at Weir Minerals are always pushing for ways to improve the capabilities of our technology for our customers. The advanced laboratories at Weir Minerals develop a variety of materials, from natural to synthetic, to polyurethanes and composite materials. One of these materials is the Vulco® mill liner rubber. Vulco® rubber is renowned throughout the mining industry for its exceptional wear life and reliability in mill lining systems. These abrasion- and impact-resistant rubber compounds are continuously improved and refined by Weir Minerals’ team of engineers and material scientists to keep them at the forefront of mill lining systems technology. Having identified a need for higher-wearing rubbers for mill lining systems, the material science experts developed an industry-leading, premium-grade rubber compound with superior wear life and performance in mill lining applications. The result: Vulco® R67 rubber – an optimum material which is manufactured with proprietary new compounds and innovative methods of processing to deliver outstanding wear life and longer uptime. This new elastomer material was developed through extensive laboratory testing which was optimised and refined to further improve the material’s properties for aggressive mill system applications. The outcome of these improvements is a rubber compound which delivers an increased wear life of more than 20%, resulting in significant cost savings for our customers. The Vulco® R67 rubber compound offers a high hardness, elongation, tensile and tear strength, making it suitable for lifter bars, head/shell plates and grates. When used in conjunction with metal cap mill liners, the result is a versatile, economical, and efficient product that weighs up to 50% less than steel alone. The added benefit is a lighter product that’s faster, easier and safer to install, as well as a measurable reduction in mill downtime and reduced maintenance costs. “The Vulco R67 compound is a significant improvement to extend the wear life of mill linings.  The longer life results in lowering customer’s production costs and also allows more uptime to potentially increase throughput of the plant due to the higher annual mill availability.” – Tony Millar, Weir Minerals Director of Product Management Produced locally in Australia, as well as North and South America and South Africa, our customers can feel assured that they have a market-leading product that is backed by decades of experience, expertise, and proven effectiveness. Connect with our mill lining experts today: https://info.global.weir/vulcor67

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PNG Business News - May 16, 2022

Get over it... with PNG Forest Products' NiuBridge

Photo: NiuBridge on the Boluminski Hwy, New Ireland, PNG You know how they say, “Build a bridge… and get over it”?  Well with PNGFP NiuBridge you don’t have to build it, because it’s already built! These expertly designed and engineered modular bridges are prefabricated to your specifications by PNG Forest Products. With a design life of 50+ years and installed cost base typically under half that of equivalent concrete or steel, NiuBridge is the ideal, most cost-effective solution for bridging installations in Papua New Guinea.  The NiuBridge System includes deck, girders, kerbing and accessories, and comes with a pre-applied bitumen surface. Little maintenance is required thanks to PNGFP’s unique veneer preservation treatment, ensuring complete protection from termites and rotting. NiuBridge is manufactured from PNG plantation pine to both AS/NZS 2269 and AS/NZS 1604 standards and exploits the advantages of natural timber, which is not subject to fatigue failure, unlike other materials such as steel and concrete. Available in single lane, dual lane, or custom design, NiuBridge is suitable for a range of load conditions including Austroads T44 and AS 500 Bridge Design.  NiuBridge and sister product NiuDeck are widely used by local and state governments across Australia. The peak body for the timber industry in Queensland has welcomed these products as a demonstration of the versatility and innovation of using Engineered Wood Products in bridge construction. “Using prefabricated timber systems in bridges is gaining greater market recognition due to their inherent strength, light weight and low carbon emissions footprint compared to other construction materials”, said the CEO of Timber Queensland, Mick Stephens. So next time you need to get over it, don’t waste valuable time and loads of money building a bridge. Buy a NiuBridge and get over it sooner and more cost effectively!

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PNG Business News - May 16, 2022

Need help with to live, work and study in Australia and with student enrolments in EQI accredited schools? Ask Migration Plus!

Photo credit: Migration Plus Migration Plus is a leading Migration firm in Cairns, in the Far North Queensland region providing professional migration advice to students, individuals, government, businesses and corporate groups including the mining, hospitality, tourism, agricultural and air services industries. Migration Plus are also Education Agents with Qualified Education Counsellors on their team and they represent a number of reputable universities and colleges across Australia, including Education Queensland International (EQI) for student enrolments.  They work closely with EQI and have successfully assisted PNG students enrol in schools across Queensland and also assisted with visa applications for the students for many years.   With Australian borders opening to international visitors, temporary workers and international students, they can assist you with all migration matters for your business and family to visit, work or study in Australia.  Now is the time to start your children’s enrolment to study in any of the EQI’s accredited schools from Prep to Year 12.  Education Counsellors at Migration Plus can assist your children’s enrolment for Year 10, Semester 2, the important pathway into senior high school subjects through the Senior Education and Training Plan. Semester 2 commences in July 2022. With an in-depth knowledge of migration law, their specialist team provides a complete solution to your migration requirements and coordinate all facets of your migration needs. The Migration Plus team is very passionate about what they we do – the rewards of being able to assist in changing lives and helping clients achieve their goals is first and foremost.  With over 90 years of combined experience available to you, you can count on their highly specialised team for accurate advice. Contact the Specialist team for further information.

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PNG Business News - May 16, 2022

OTML partners with local vocational centre to train tradesmen and women

Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kiunga Technical Vocational Training Centre (KTVTC) to train and develop trades men and women. Signed between OTML’s Major Projects Business Unit and the KTVTC in March, the MoU defines the application and selection processes for the students attending the college. Under the MoU six students, three male and three female, studying different trades will be selected annually to join the Major Projects Business Unit over the next three years. The intention of the program is to build local capacity and human resource, and provide a career pathway for the successful applicants. KTVTC Manager, Mrs. Helen Dupnai, thanked OTML for providing students an avenue to attain on-the-job training. “We are grateful for this partnership that will add significant value to what the students are learning here and this will provide the selected students the opportunity to gain valuable experience and increase their chances of employment not only at Ok Tedi but elsewhere,” she said. OTML General Manager for Major Projects, Mark Thompson, said although this is a small initiative, he hopes the arrangement will have a great impact in the future. “OTML’s mandate or requirement is for us to leave behind a positive legacy. The implementation of a formal training, development and upskilling program is included as part of the Major Projects execution scope over the next 2 years, which is a very important initiative to realise this mandate” he said. OTML’s Major Projects team are responsible for implementing key strategic projects such as the Nurumi Crusher which was successfully delivered in December 2020 at a cost of K800 million. Currently the Major Projects team are implementing the Process Asset Renewal (PAR) project worth K750 million which involves the safe and timely refurbishment of the aging plant facilities in Kiunga, Kilometre-59 and Folomian. The project also includes the replacement of the current flotation and regrind circuit. OTML is undertaking this, and other key strategic projects, to assure life of mine to 2032.

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PNG Business News - May 09, 2022

Steamships Businesses Achieve Growth In Spite Of Challenges

According to the company's 2021 annual report, Steamships' businesses were robust in achieving an overall revenue increase of 11% in 2021. Chairman Geoff Cundle stated that the outcome was achieved despite the twin obstacles of a weak underlying local economy and the global consequences of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). “Steamships’ hospitality group, Coral Sea Hotels, was deeply impacted by border closures and restrictions on domestic travel in 2020 but, after a slow start, it benefited from the demand for quarantine rooms in 2021,” Cundle said. “Conversely, property occupancy and rental rates remained depressed throughout the year, and this will continue for several years as, without meaningful growth in the economy, there will remain an over-supply of units throughout much of Papua New Guinea. “Our logistics businesses have adjusted effectively to the operational constraints caused by the pandemic and are responding to early signs of recovery inactivity. In summary, after a disappointing 2020, and notwithstanding the lingering negative impacts of Covid-19, 2021 saw an improvement in the group’s performance,” he said. “It has been two years since the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic and unfortunately the impact of the virus continues to be felt across all economies. “Businesses have suffered from travel restrictions and a general reduction in demand for goods and services. “Steamships has been no exception but has adapted well and I am pleased with the robust performance that has been achieved under difficult circumstances.” Meanwhile, Cundle said Steamships continued to welcome the Government’s attempts to broaden the base of the economy and rebalance the allocation of benefits from resource projects. “This is an important long-term strategic goal that should promote broader and sustainable economic growth and employment. “We are encouraged by the progress in new resource projects with PNG-LNG moving forward and P’nyang under negotiation. “Disappointingly, it appears that Wafi-Golpu and Pasca-A exhibit little immediate prospect for progress. “Porgera mine in Enga remains closed. It is hoped that progress on all these projects, together with other initiatives, notably investment in improved infrastructure, will stimulate the economy in 2023 and beyond. “Traditionally an election year boosts economic activity but in 2022 the increasing national budget deficit could constrain this stimulatory effect.”   Reference: The National (3 May 2022). “Steamships businesses report 11pc growth despite challenges”.

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PNG Business News - May 09, 2022

New temperature measuring unit to boost safety

Photo credit: Newcrest Mining Newcrest Lihir has commissioned an improved Temperature Measuring Unit (TMU) that further enhances safety for personnel working at its geothermally active mining pit. This second generation TMU comes after the christened Anako 13, commissioned on 6 March 2018; it engineers out the risk of personnel exposure to geysering events during drill hole measurement activities. Anako 13 allowed geothermal technicians to operate a mobile arm from the vehicle remotely and simultaneously lower or raise a probe safely to measure and record temperature, water level and depth. All these are done from the safety and comfort of the vehicle cabin. Newcrest teams collaborated with several business partners to deliver the improved Anako early this year, allowing geothermal technicians to continue doing their work safely as Lihir’s mining pit phases extend deeper and further north into Kapit orebody. Manager – Mine Technical Services, Mr Ben Likia, thanked various Newcrest teams and business partners for delivering the project safely and ensuring a timely site deployment of Anako Sense, including training sessions for key personnel. “I also congratulate our national employees who completed their training sessions. We have competent geothermal personnel who are now operating the new TMU, and several mobile maintenance personnel who will assist in ensuring the TMU is regularly maintained and fit for purpose,” he said. “As a business, we value collaboration in creative and innovative work because it makes our business safe and sustainable in Papua New Guinea. The safety of our people in Lihir is our number one priority, and this improvement is testimony to that. We are committed to ensuring everybody goes home safe and healthy every day,” Mr Likia added. Superintendent – Geothermal Operations, Mr Kaipale Pano, said the enthusiasm and feedback from the project team and personnel were heartening. “The project is a success for Newcrest Lihir because we (Newcrest) encourage employees to experiment with new ideas to improve safety and production performance. We displayed Newcrest’s practice ‘Bottom-up Innovation’ and values ‘Working Together’ and ‘Innovation and Problem Solving’ through this project. We are proud to have the best people and outstanding operators, mostly Papua New Guineans, who constantly team up to deploy safe and latest mining technologies at Lihir,” said Mr Pano. The name Anako was inspired by an incident at Lihir eight years ago. In 2013, Mr Samuel Ayata, a geothermal technician from Eastern Highlands and Morobe, sustained injuries from geysers when collecting data. His father, Ayata Anako, collapsed upon receiving news about the incident and was bedridden for almost three weeks, begging his son to quit his job. “The scars on my body were a drive for our team to take on this safety initiative and continue improving it; we named the TMU after my father. I thank Newcrest for supporting our commitment to work safely for our families,” said Mr Ayata.   Article courtesy of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum

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PNG Business News - May 04, 2022

Kumul Petroleum Fabrication Facility Ground-Breaking

Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited, today hosted a ground-breaking ceremony for its Steel, Mechanical and Piping (SMP) module fabrication facility and construction training academy outside Port Moresby, near the LNG plant on the shores of Caution Bay. Managing Director Wapu Sonk explained that, in preparation for forthcoming LNG and mining developments in the country, Kumul Petroleum is establishing a world-class heavy SMP Module fabrication facility, capable of manufacturing many of the infrastructure components required by such large-scale projects. Mr Sonk said; “We are pleased to be initiating this industrial plant, since it is important that through this facility the country can demonstrate the real ability to maximise national content in major resource developments - through fabrication of core infrastructure components and training of competent Papua New Guinean tradesmen.” “The facility will be constructed on more than 60 hectares of land adjacent to the current LNG plant and close to Motukea international port. The facility will have two main production lines - for structural steel fabrication and pipeline & pipe spools fabrication, with separate module assembly areas.” Mr Sonk noted that in the spirit of promoting and maximising national content, construction of the fabrication facility would be carried out 100% by national contractors and sub-contractors. “Kumul Petroleum will not be undertaking this huge industrial operation alone. To ensure a productive and assured operational ramp up of facility throughput, and to minimise costs, schedule and quality risk to major projects proponents, we have reached a preliminary agreement with Fabtech International, a world recognised fabrication facility operator that would see Fabtech take a leading role running the facility, in addition to other potential strategic partners to finance and own the facility.” “Once fully operational the fabrication facility will be able to produce up to 20,000 tonnes of SMP Modules into the international, regional and domestic PNG oil, gas and mining industry projects markets.”  Mr Sonk noted that associated with the fabrication facility would be the Kumul Construction Academy that would produce a stream of competency-based trained 'Job-Ready fabricators and constructors' in a range of technical trades to generate skilled employees for the oil, gas, LNG, power and mining industries. Mr Sonk emphasised that maximising national content included the use of local contractors and skilled national employees, “The training to be provided will create opportunities for the next generation of Papua New Guineans to develop lifelong knowledge and practical skills for employment in PNG and internationally - in skilled and semi-skilled positions in a range of industries as PNG’s industrial and resource sectors develop in the coming years.”

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PNG Business News - May 03, 2022

Remote In Water Surveys for PNG

Melanesian marine services company, Pacific Towing (PacTow), has conducted In Water Surveys (IWS) in Papua New Guinea for more than 10 years. Certified by multiple international survey companies for the supply of IWS of ships and mobile offshore units in the oil and gas sector, PacTow has recently introduced a ‘live video feed’ component to their IWS service. The majority of IWS’s performed by PacTow’s commercial dive team (also Melanesia’s only permanent commercial diving operation) are conducted on PNG flagged vessels.  However, foreign vessels which would normally be surveyed to class in countries such as Singapore or Australia also utilise PacTow’s expertise (e.g., when they experience a technical difficulty or mechanical failure). General Manager, Neil Papenfus, says that the value adding IWS service that they can now provide (i.e., with a live video feed back to a survey technician located just about anywhere in the world) has been well received.  “Clients see the cost and time savings, as well as the logistical benefits of not having to bring a survey technician into the country; this was especially the case over the last couple of years with border closures.” Despite the obvious disruption of COVID-19, Papenfus says a definite upside was the innovation that came with it, such as remote survey apps.  “Ship owners and operators wouldn’t be benefiting from the type of in water surveys we’re now doing in remote partnerships with companies such as Lloyd’s Register.  Likewise, PacTow wouldn’t be getting as much survey business as a result.” PacTow is certified to conduct IWS’s on numerous vessel types from tankers to pleasure craft, bulk carriers to cargo vessels, as well as barges and just about everything in between.  In addition to Lloyd’s Register, PacTow also conducts IWS’s for vessels in class with American Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Viritas, DNV, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, and RINA. Diving Manager, Ricky Leka, confirms that his survey team take approximately half a day to perform a typical IWS.  However, additional time is required when defects or abnormalities are detected, and the survey technician requires additional or closer viewing for reporting, or for recommendations for repair. PacTow divers primarily conduct IWS’s in Port Moresby’s Fairfax Harbour which is where the company is headquartered at its dedicated tug base. The divers are also deployed to other harbours such as in Lae, Madang, Rabaul, and Wewak as dictated by client requirements.  “Our divers are Australian trained and certified and equal to their overseas counterparts” emphasises Leka.  “No one knows our waterways, currents, and weather patterns as intimately as our PNG divers.”  This nuanced understanding, together with decades of experience, feeds into the commercial dive team’s safety credentials and the long running demand for their services, including in PNG’s oil and gas sector. The oil and gas sector in PNG is growing and will further expand with increased offshore activity.  PacTow’s IWS certifications also applies to mobile offshore units (MOU’s). These are vessels which can be relocated for exploration and production purposes, such as mobile offshore drilling units, and for maintenance and lifting operations.  PacTow is perfectly positioned to provide its IWS service to PNG’s oil and gas sector and further grow its oil and gas clientele.

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PNG Business News - April 28, 2022

Ok Tedi Mining marks ANZAC Day

Photo: OTML Deputy CEO & General Manager Community & Operations Support, Kedi Ilimbit pays his respects to the fallen during the Dawn Service at the Tabubil Country Club on Monday, 25th April Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) observed ANZAC Day with a Dawn Service hosted in Tabubil. A number of employees, contractors, local dignitaries and members of Papua New Guinea and Australian Defence Force attended the Dawn Service. OTML General Manager People and Capability, Mark Stone, said the ANZAC tradition has inspired future generations and each year people pay homage to those who have died, injured, or suffered in their service to their countries, including PNG. “We remember with pride their courage, their passion, and their comradeship,” said Mr Stone. Captain Tom Folley, of the ADF said it was an opportunity to reflect on the spirit of ANZAC forged at Gallipoli and has continued in the jungles and mountains of PNG. “We also remember the brave Papua New Guineans who, as part of the Papuan Infantry Battalion and the Royal Pacific Islands Regiment in World War II, fought alongside the Australians. The Australian Army was assisted by about 50,000 Papua New Guinean civilians who carried supplies, evacuated the sick and wounded, and built bases, airfields and other infrastructure. The service and sacrifice of these brave Papua New Guineans should never be forgotten,” he said. OTML General Manager Processing, Greg Moore, recited the ANZAC Day poem while OTML Acting Chief Executive Officer, Kedi Ilimbit, was among those who laid wreaths. Today is a day of remembrance that commemorates all Australians, New Zealanders and Papua New Guineans "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". Tabubil was among seven other centres, which hosted a dawn service in commemoration of ANZAC Day. Other centres included Port Moresby, Alotau, Popondetta, Kimbe, Rabaul, Wewak, Lae.   Article courtesy of Ok Tedi Mining

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PNG Business News - April 27, 2022

BSP delivers strong underlying financial result in Q1-22

Photo credit: BSP According to BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming, the pre additional company tax Q1-2022 financial results were driven by improving economic conditions and income growth, when compared to Q1-2021. “Growth in BSP’s offshore branches and PNG Bank were the main drivers for the overall uplift in underlying Group NPAT,” according BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming. Mr Fleming said in accordance with accounting standards BSP recognised the full K190m additional company tax in the first quarter this year, reducing Group NPAT to K69m despite our strong underlying performance. “BSP’s share price on the PNGX finished 0.4 percent higher in the trailing 52 weeks at K12.05, with average prices of K12.21 in Mar-22. ASX prices reached an all-time high of A$6.00 after the K1.1bn profit announcement, but fell to A$5.00 in the weeks following the announcement of the additional company tax in March 2022,” said Mr. Fleming. Mr. Fleming added that 2021 dividend yields were 14.4 percent and 13.6 percent on the PNGX and ASX respectively, and that BSP paid a record dividend to its shareholders of K626.1m on 22 April 2022. BSP’s market capitalisation on the PNGX was K5.6bn and A$2.2b on the ASX at 31 March 2022. Meanwhile, Mr Fleming stated that BSP Group’s key performance ratios remained strong, with cost-to-income ratio increasing slightly to 37.8 percent but generally in line with recent levels. He added that capital adequacy ratio decreased to 21.3 percent due to timing of the 2021 final dividend which was declared in February this year, while prior years had the final dividends declared in May at the time of the company’s Annual General Meeting of shareholders.  Capital adequacy remains well above BPNG’s 12 percent requirement. Group Return on Equity (ROE) was 24.0 percent in Q1-2021, impacted by the ACT. When presenting the first quarter results to investors and the media, Mr. Fleming concluded by stating that the additional company tax is unfair and inequitable, in that BSP is the only bank in PNG that is targeted for this tax and our PNG shareholders are the hardest hit.  “It dissuades investor confidence in PNG and sets a dangerous precedent for arbitrary taxes. Super Funds estimate that BSP shareholders will lose K1.0 billion in value directly and indirectly as a result of the tax.   “Despite the tax, BSP has and will continue to invest heavily in PNG, with its new core banking system, more ATMs and EFTPOS terminals, and additional branches in Lae and Mt Hagen, an upgrade of Maprik to a full branch and two additional hybrid sub-branches in Telefomin and Palmalmal. BSP’s PNG branch footprint is the largest in the country, with 84 branches and sub-branches, which is significantly more than Westpac’s and Kina Bank’s combined 32 branches in total. Further, BSP branch access ranks highly when compared to other leading banks in comparable markets, with BSP branch coverage per 100,000 people being 1.56, compared to Phongsavanh Bank in Lao at 1.22, ACLEDA Bank in Lao of 1.04, First Bank of Nigeria at 0.56 and the other two retail banks in PNG at 0.32 and 0.28. The first quarter financial results also highlighted that BSP has not increased its fees since 2014 and today forgoes in excess of K90 million per annum in fee income from our fee reductions and waivers since 2014.  In addition, BSP provides a large number of fee free services to its customers, far more so than our competitors do and BSP fees are generally much lower than those of our competitors’.”   Article courtesy of BSP

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