Mining

Mining

Paul Oeka - January 13, 2023

Barrick Niugini Limited Clarifies its stance on Porgera's current progress

Photo: Barrick CEO and President Mark Bristow addressing PJV Town Hall meeting at Porgera Mine site during a quaterly visit in 2022 Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) has clarified in a media statement that the Porgera Mine remains and is progressing in a care and maintenance mode of operation and that the current defined rehiring process of the skilled workforce is only to assist with ongoing maintenance work carried out in the mine. A protest was held in Porgera on Friday (6th January) claiming that Barrick's current recruitment process was improperly overlooking unemployed locals within the Special Mining Lease area. Barrick Niugini Limited has completely opposed these claims. Since the closure of the mine, Porgera was placed into care and maintenance operations in April 2020, BNL has invested more than K1 billion in maintaining its integrity in the hope and expectation that the various structural and regulatory conditions for its reopening can be satisfied to allow for its reopening. While these conditions have not yet been satisfied, BNL has approved limited maintenance work on plant infrastructure and the repairing of mobile equipment, with rehabilitation work on the open pit and underground sections of the mine. The ongoing maintenance at the mining site requires highly skilled and experienced work personnel to ensure that operational readiness is maintained, the company said in a statement. “BNLs recruitment policy is based on transparency and best practice and gives first preference to skilled and experienced workers with the best-recorded performances who are based in Porgera,” it said. Due to a limited pool of local workers that need the necessary requirements for the current ongoing work, Barrick highlighted that they had to rehire a small number of skilled workers from beyond Porgera and within Enga and PNG. Most of these workers are on short-term contracts. BNL claims that certain individuals have been creating false exploitations of employment by unskilled youth in Porgera and spreading baseless claims and rumours of inappropriate hiring practices by the company. “The current maintenance work at the Porgera Mine, however, requires specific skill sets so that safety and other important requirement are properly compiled. As with any other professional organisation, BNL has stated and made a firm stance that it would not recruit a person with unsatisfactory employment or community history,” it said. Once the mine restarts the new Porgera will commence the “historically successful” job-ready programme for the benefit of youths in Porgera, the company added. Job Ready Program provides the best avenue for inexperienced local youth to enter the mining workforce and has produced skilled miners who are now employed at Porgera as well as other mines in PNG and abroad. It is also the responsibility of local leaders to work with the Government and other stakeholders to invest in training and other opportunities for the youths in Porgera. BNL has made its stance clear that any threat to the Porgera mine assets or employees and contractors will be immediately referred to the relevant authorities.

Mining

Paul Oeka - January 12, 2023

Women Groups in Porgera call for immediate restoration of Government services in district: ‘Mine closure is not making peoples lives better'

Many of Papua New Guinea’s most unruly problems are inseparably tied up with the country’s most promising sources of wealth. Mining, gas, timber, and other extractive industries are the most productive sectors of Papua New Guinea’s otherwise ailing economy. But exploitation of these resources has also led to violence, corruption, and lack of service delivery. Porgera is the site of the disputed giant gold mine which has been closed for 3 years now. A violent tribal fight between the Aiyala and Nomali tribes has been raging and has put a complete halt to Government services in the district, which has severely affected the communities in this once thriving mining township. The tribal conflicts at Paiam Station last year in July in the Porgera-Paiea District in Enga Province now have refocused the attention of the mining township over the Government’s failure to restore and provide basic services, such as health, education, law and order, and banking services in the district. In a recent media conference in Porgera, representatives from women's groups in the area voiced their concerns that despite “significant increases in resourcing over the last two decades, service delivery in Porgera is still failing to reach its people.” This conclusion was drawn following the recent tribal conflicts and the breakdown of law and order in the district. Women’s groups in the district expressed their grievances and called on their leaders to assess the deteriorating state of the Government’s service delivery in the valley and restore basic services in the area. Many businesses, especially in Paiam, had closed amid the fighting or had been operating on reduced schedules; there were a lot of commercial disruptions during the fighting as well as the closure of Government services in the district. Security measures and clashes had also triggered localized transport disruptions. For months, the people have urged and called for the restoration of Government services in Porgera District after essential services that included the Paiam Hospital, Porgera Secondary and Primary Schools, Judicial Services, and the District Administration office had been closed down following the tribal conflict. The government has consistently failed to maintain law and order in the face of these security challenges Porgera Women in Business President and Aumbi Lodge Owner Elizabeth Iarume stated that restoration of government services in Porgera needs to be a priority for the National and Provincial Government as the daily challenges of accessing government services outside of Porgera has seen people dying on the road while seeking medical services, looting and hold-up of public transport, and now students are expected to miss another year of education as schools remain closed. "So many people in Porgera have been affected, The communities struggle with economic and social hardship far from public view, because access to these areas is difficult and State presence is limited," Iarume said. The women have observed that provincial administrators generally failed to perform responsibly; provincial accountability mechanisms were severely weakened, provincial governments lacked resources and oversight of what happens in the district; and legal arrangements had minimal impact on the behaviour of politicians in ways that would improve service delivery. Youth rep Joy Tero recently spoke on behalf of impacted young girls and women of Porgera on the ongoing challenges faced as government services remain closed in Porgera. Joy highlighted that young girls have been the main victims of kidnapping and rapes during tribal conflict and asked for a Police/PNG Defense Force Barracks to be set up permanently in Porgera.  The women have also made calls for the restart of Porgera Mine in 2023 as the economic impact of the mine closures continues to be a day-to-day struggle for small businesses and the informal sector in Porgera.  A key question addressed by the women was whether the decline in service delivery is “causally related to the country's political precedence on the Porgera Mine.” Porgera District Women Association President Serah Erasi called on the National Government and Barrick Niugini Limited to make it known on when the Porgera Mine will reopen, as economic struggles of the people of Porgera drag onto 4th year since the closure of the mine. "Why has the mine not been reopened? We have been struggling to sustain our families since the closure of the mine. When the mine was in operation we benefited from its economic outputs, The Prime Minister must come to Porgera and give us an amswer on when the mine will be reopened," Erasi said. Porgera is one of Papua New Guinea’s longest running goldmines. Operating for 30 years in the highlands province of Enga, this large mine was expected to produce around 250,000 ounces of gold in 2019. It employs more than 5,000 people and the 5% landowner and provincial equity stake has helped to fast-track the efforts to bring services and education to one of the country’s most remote provinces. In spite of all the wealth it generates, Porgera still suffers from poverty and a lack of basic government services.

Mining

PNG Business News - January 11, 2023

K92 Mining Announces Record Annual Production, Achieves Guidance, Record Ore Mined, Ore Processed and Development

Photo credit: K92 Mining K92 Mining has announced production results for the fourth quarter of 2022 at its Kainantu Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea, of 35,538 oz AuEq or 31,204 oz gold, 1,827,085 lbs copper and 40,517 oz silver. Annual production achieved a record of 122,806 oz AuEq or 107,546 oz gold, 6,247,950 lbs copper and 126,043 oz silver, achieving the guidance range of 115,000 to 140,000 oz AuEq and increasing 18% year over year. Sales during the fourth quarter were 35,212 oz gold, 1,923,116 lbs copper and 44,828 oz silver. Annual sales were 110,654 oz gold, 6,072,879 lbs copper and 125,155 oz silver. During the fourth quarter, the process plant delivered record quarterly ore processed of 121,686 tonnes or 1,323 tpd, an increase of 22% from Q4 2021. On an annual basis, a record 448 kt of ore was processed, increasing 33% from 2021. Importantly, in November, the process plant achieved record monthly throughput of 1,382 tpd, greater than the Stage 2A Expansion run-rate of 1,370 tpd. The strong throughput is especially significant as the final Stage 2A Expansion plant upgrade is not yet complete, with the flotation expansion that will double rougher capacity expected to be commissioned in Q1 2023. The flotation expansion is expected to provide a boost to metallurgical recoveries and provide flexibility to potentially increase throughput further and beyond the Stage 2A design-run rate (500,000 tpa / 1,370 tpd). The new filter press and TC-1000 secondary/tertiary crusher for Stage 2A are installed and operational. Mine performance during the fourth quarter recorded 111,448 tonnes of ore mined, and delivered a total material mined (ore plus waste) record of 287,446 tonnes mined, representing an increase of 28% from Q4 2021. On an annual basis, material movements of 448 kt of ore mined and 994 kt of total material mined both achieved records, increasing 40% and 25% from 2021, respectively. During the quarter, long hole stoping continued to perform to the design, with operations focused on Kora’s K1 and K2 veins, and Judd’s J1 Vein for a total of 11 levels mined. Mining on Kora was conducted on the 1130, 1150, 1170, 1205, 1245, 1265 and 1285 levels, and Judd on the 1235, 1265, 1285 and 1305 levels. The operation delivered head grades of 8.75 g/t gold, 0.74% copper and 13.31 g/t silver (9.98 g/t AuEq) in Q4. Metallurgical recoveries averaged 91.2% for gold and 91.8% for copper during the quarter, with recoveries expected to improve upon the commissioning of the flotation expansion in Q1 2023. Record mine development advance was achieved in the fourth quarter, of 2,221 metres (including the twin incline), a 45% increase from Q4 2021. Twin incline development advance also made significant progress, exceeding the budget by 76% during the quarter and by 52% during 2022. As of December 31, 2022, incline #2 (6m x 6.5m) advanced to 1,843 metres and #3 (5m x 5.5m) advanced to 1,811 metres. On an annual basis, record overall underground development of 7.5 km was achieved, a 31% increase from 2021. John Lewins, K92 Chief Executive Officer and Director, stated, “We are very pleased with the performance of the Kainantu Gold Mine in the fourth quarter. Once again, Kainantu achieved multiple operational records, delivering record mill throughput, total mined material, and underground development rates. Quarterly production was the second highest on record, with 35,538 oz AuEq produced and on an annual basis we confidently achieved our production guidance. The performance of the process plant has been a major positive. During the quarter, another new daily throughput record of 1,714 tonnes processed was achieved and on a monthly basis, Stage 2A Expansion throughput rates of 1,370 tpd have already been achieved ahead of the flotation expansion, the last major upgrade of the Stage 2A Expansion. The flotation expansion which will double rougher capacity, is now planned to be commissioned in Q1 2023, and is expected to provide a boost to not only recoveries but also plant flexibility, with the potential to ultimately exceed the Stage 2A Expansion run-rate. In the mine, Kainantu delivered record material mined of 287 kt and record development advance of 2,221 metres, representing a 28% and 45% increase from Q4 2021, respectively. Development, as noted in previous press releases, is a major focus going forward as we open up the mine ahead of the Stage 3 and Stage 4 Expansions while also boosting our immediate mine operational flexibility. I am pleased to report that quarter over quarter, development advance increased 18% in Q4. The strong increase has been driven by a combination of a new replacement jumbo, improvements in ventilation, haulage, drill and blast, plus improvements to maintenance and servicing, benefiting from the recently constructed new equipment workshop. We expect development advance to continue to increase through 2023, as new equipment arrives and the development cycle continues to be optimized. As we look at 2023, we have tremendous excitement about our exploration programs. The number of drills will be ramping up from 11 to 13 and our focus is on resource growth. Surface drilling plans to focus on Kora South, Judd South, Judd and the A1 Porphyry, with underground drilling focusing on Kora, Kora South, Judd, Judd South and Northern Deeps. The strong development advance from our southern drill drive and twin incline is also opening up new prospective drilling horizons.”   Article courtesy of K92 Mining

Mining

PNG Business News - January 02, 2023

DELAY IN REOPENING OF PORGERA MINE NOT INTENTIONAL: PM MARAPE

Photo credit: Zijin Mining. Aerial view of the Porgera gold mine The Prime Minister recently responded to the press statement that was published by the Deputy Opposition Leader in relation to the reopening of the Porgera Mine. “The Deputy Opposition Leader has never sat down at the table with any project stake holders to negotiate a way forward for any national projects and can only make uninformed statements from the sidelines. “The National Government together with Barrick have jointly concluded all the important milestones contained in the Porgera Project Framework Agreement, which was initially signed in April 2021. Since then, we have concluded the Commencement Agreement, the Shareholders agreement and now Kumul mining is completing the Operators Agreement which is between the new joint venture company and the Barrick Operating entity rather than with the State,” Prime Minister Marape said. “The New Porgera Limited has been incorporated and the State parties are now 51% majority owner of the mine which means the risks and responsibilities that must be negotiated through the various legal agreements are different and more complex than what the State is used to. They must now go through the regulatory process with the Mineral Resources Authority in accordance with the Mining Act which will include dealing with licensing, other technical regulations and a Development Forum for the Landowners and Provincial Government stakeholders.” He said it is now this internal process and the settlement of legacy issues that the old Porgera Joint Venture between the Mineral Resources Enga (owned jointly by the Landowners and Provincial Government) and Barrick that needed to settled that will drive the timing of the reopening of the mine and not further commercial, technical and administrative negotiations with the Marape – Rosso Government. “PNG deserves the best outcome in our resources negotiations and our stakeholders have a right to be heard and benefit from those projects,” the Prime Minister said. “There are no ulterior motives in the delay, other than to ensure that all stakeholders views are considered. It was important for both Barrick and the National Government to secure the support of the Enga Provincial Government, and the landowners in the early part of the negotiations, and with the signing of the revised PPCA in September 2022, those issues are now sorted out. “The government is working through a process of properly establishing the SNT as an organization. But these two processes are happening simultaneously,” the Prime Minister said. “We have had State Negotiation Teams since 2007 when we started negotiations on the PNG LNG Project, and we are fortunate that a handful of these experienced resources are still around and available to the State. These are high value industries and we have had some high quality resources who have effectively secured important gains for our people. “I want high quality negotiations, advisory services and project coordination that result in positive results and reputation for our people and our government. If we do not have those immediately available, we procure them. “The Government part of the negotiation is supported by high technical advisors and advisory firms where required who are procured internationally. These advisors support Public Servants who serve the interest of the SNT over and above their day-to-day duties. The consultants are paid industry rates within the legal limits of the authorizing officer and within the terms of their contracts.” In relation to Wafi Golpu project, Prime Minister Marape said that the negotiations were focused on ensuring that the landowners are able to participate throughout the construction phase and then build value over the life of the project. “My government is committed to ensuring that we get better fiscal terms from large scale projects such as those proposed for the New Porgera Gold Mine, Wafi Golpu, and the gas projects P’nyang and Papua LNG Project. In P’nyang we achieved a 63% benefit split outcome which is a record. I have achieved more than the previous governments and a large part of this is due to the leadership of the various State Negotiations Team over the last two years under my leadership,” the Prime Minister said. “Any bonuses that may be due and payable to public servants working in this space would normally be based on the bonus guidelines approved by NEC and the SRC back in 2009 when the PNG LNG was first negotiated. “This is not something that my government initiated, but we are determined to support and recognize the commitments made by good public servants who are useful to any government in this line of work. Most importantly these incentives are performance based and allow us to compete with the Statutory Authorities and the private sector where our public servants could go to because of remuneration.” Prime Minister Marape said he is surprised that the good Deputy Opposition Leader has chosen to rubbish the efforts that our public servants put into this work, which is over and above the regular duties they have on a day to day basis. The Prime Minister added that considering the work of the SNT is negotiating an estimated USD30 billion worth of resource projects, arguing over the payments to advisors and advisory firms shows inexperience and immaturity.

Mining

PNG Business News - December 19, 2022

Ok Tedi Declares PGK300 Million Dividend Payment for 2022 And Extends Mine Life by a Further Year

Photo: A haul truck being loaded with ore at the Ok Tedi mine. Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) recently announced that a dividend of PGK300 Million will be paid to shareholders on or before 31 December 2022. OTML Chairman Dr Roger Higgins thanked employees, contract partners and mine impacted communities for their support throughout 2022. He added that “while 2022 was always going to be a challenging year as the Company transitions to higher grade ore sources, and faced the additional cost associated with a sharp escalation in oil price, we are pleased to report Ok Tedi remains profitable and continues to deliver for our shareholders”.  Dr Higgins also said that “we now look forward to copper grade improving by more than 20% in 2023 as the transition continues” adding that this and a further extension of mine life (from 2032 to 2033) in the latest Strategic Business Plan recently approved by the OTML Board gives rise to growing optimism". He concluded by noting that the Company also continues to investigate further mine life extension scenarios.

Mining

PNG Business News - December 08, 2022

Copper Essential For Clean Energy Solutions

Photo: Sandeep Biswas According to the International Energy Agency, copper is essential for additional solar PV, wind, bioenergy, networks, electric vehicles (EVs), and battery storage in the field of clean energy solutions. According to Sandeep Biswas, managing director and chief executive officer of Newcrest Mining Limited, the International Energy Agency has predicted that by 2040, the entire mineral demand for usage in clean energy solutions alone is likely to rise by 300%. By weight, copper, graphite, and nickel, according to him, will be the most in demand minerals in 2040. “As Newcrest steps up our role in addressing climate change, it makes plenty of sense for us to increase our focus on copper. It is important for hydro, nuclear and concentrating solar power, while playing a role in geothermal and hydrogen,” he said. The forecasts vary, but according to Australian government research, 31.1 million tonnes of copper will be consumed in 2030 – but only if it can be supplied. That’s an increase of 26 per cent on estimated 2022 consumption.” According to Mr. Biswas, current copper inventories are the lowest they have been since 2006. “Of course, the other side of the equation is supply, and that’s a significant factor in PNG’s continued relevance as a major global resources player,” he said. However, the world’s insatiable hunger for the commodities we produce to help countries reach net zero doesn’t guarantee us an acceptable return on investment, income, profitability or efficient project approvals by any means.” According to Mr. Biswas, Newcrest and other ethical global miners recognise that mining is much more than a for-profit business. “The investments that we make in PNG are for the long term and must be built on a shared vision with the government and community if they are to succeed,” he said. “We are committed to mine responsibly, produce less waste, use safer processes, incorporate new technologies, promote the wellbeing of local and Indigenous communities, curb emissions, and strengthen environmental stewardship. Large, long-term investments are necessary to search for minerals, establish mines, and run them for a number of years before they become profitable. These investments are not made randomly or haphazardly. “PNG, while not the cheapest operating environment in the world, certainly has the potential to become one of the best. In PNG, as in the rest of the world, we value certainty, stability and pro-mining government policies to ensure we can maintain and grow our mining of copper, gold and silver. “Companies who want to operate successfully in PNG should understand how to navigate not just the global challenges, but how to build, maintain and grow strong and enduring relationships with communities and governments. “Long-term partnerships based on actions as well as words are central to the future of a successful PNG resources sector.”   Reference. Post-Courier (7 December 2022). “Newcrest Looks To Copper For Climate Change”.

Mining

PNG Business News - December 07, 2022

K92 Mining Announces Extension to Mining Lease 150 and Approval of the Kainantu Gold Mine Stage 3 and Stage 4 Expansions

Photo credit: K92 Mining K92 Mining is pleased to announce that the Government of Papua New Guinea has granted an extension of Mining Lease 150 for the Kainantu Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea for a period of 10 years to June 13, 2034. Concurrent with this announcement, K92’s Board of Directors have approved the Stage 3 and Stage 4 Expansions (collectively the “ Expansions ”), increasing the annual processing throughput to 1.2 mtpa and 1.7 mtpa, respectively. This represents a 140% increase and 240% increase, respectively, from the Stage 2A processing capacity of 500,000 tonnes per annum. The current Stage 2A Expansion run-rate throughput has already been achieved, with the last major process plant upgrade, the installation of flotation cells to double rougher capacity expected in early 2023. The Expansions are expected to be transformational for Kainantu, as demonstrated in the Integrated Development Plan (“ IDP ”) Stage 4 PEA Case, outlining a peak annual production of 500,192 oz AuEq in 2027, a life of mine average all-in sustaining cost of $687/oz (co-product) or $444/oz net of by-product credits. Importantly, the growth capital cost of US$187 million, sustaining capital cost until operating both process plants of approximately US$60 million per annum, and life of mine sustaining capital cost of US$429 million are expected to be self-funded from mine cash flow at US$1,600/oz Au (see press release dated September 12, 2022 - K92 Mining Inc Announces Robust Kainantu Gold Mine Integrated Development Plan ). Tendering for long-lead time items for the expansion has already commenced. John Lewins, K92 Chief Executive Officer and Director, stated, “ The extension of the Mining Lease by the Government of Papua New Guinea and the approval of the Stage 3 and 4 Expansions by the Board of Directors of K92 are major milestones for the Kainantu Gold Mine, Papua New Guinea, our communities, investors and many other stakeholders. When we acquired the Kainantu Gold Mine in 2015, it was under care and maintenance and had a designed throughput of 150,000 tpa – the Stage 4 Expansion targets throughput of 1.7 million tonnes per annum, a more than 11-fold increase. The throughput increase, as outlined in the IDP Stage 4 PEA Case, transforms Kainantu into a Tier 1 mine, with peak production of 500,192 oz AuEq in 2027, low life of mine average all-in sustaining costs of $687/oz (co-product) or $444/oz net of by-product credits and capital self-funded from mine cash flow. The boost to the economy of Papua New Guinea, in terms of jobs, exports, royalties and income tax will be very significant. We also plan to expand our community programs as we expand the mine so that the benefits to our community continue to grow as the mine grows. Beyond the mine expansion, as we approach 2023, we are very excited about our exploration programs at Kainantu. We plan to expand the number of drill rigs in 2023 from the 11 currently operating, with a focus on resource expansion of our vein fields and porphyries. ”

Mining

PNG Business News - December 07, 2022

Ok Tedi to generate PGK19 Billion for PNG over the next 11 years

Photo: OTML General Manager and Chief Financial Officer Cameron Clark speaking at the PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference The Ok Tedi Mine will generate over PGK19 Billion in dividends for the benefit of Papua New Guinea over the next 11 years, says Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) General Manager Commercial and Chief Financial Officer Cameron Clark. Mr Clark said this today when speaking at the PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in Sydney, Australia. He said although the mine has been impacted by high fuel cost, and the expected low grade ore transition in 2022, OTML remains profitable and is committed to delivering for its shareholders. “The outlook for Ok Tedi is a positive one. The Company has tripled its value in the last 6 years and extended mine life by 7 years. This has been made possible by a combination of technical improvements, cost improvement, accelerated mining rates and internal investment in key strategic projects,” Mr. Clark said. He put this amount into context by saying dividends over the next 11 years will exceed what has been paid in the last 35 years making the period ahead a very important one. He added that along with taxes, royalties and compensation payments approximating PGK 7 Billion, the overall benefit generated by Ok Tedi in the future is expected to approach PGK 30 Billion.  We have solid plans in place, and therefore execution of those plans remains the key to ensuring this value is realised he said. He also said that the Company continues in its efforts to extend mine life beyond 2033, having spent more than PGK350 Million on exploration in recent years. He added that “We have a 2039 mine life case however this case reduces NPV by 30% and causes additional environmental impact and therefore requires further work before it can be considered a viable option.

Mining

PNG Business News - December 02, 2022

OTML Board accepts resignation of MD & CEO

Photo: Musje Werror The Board of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd announced that it has accepted the resignation of Managing Director and CEO, Musje Werror. OTML Board Chairman, Dr. Roger Higgins, made the announcement today. Dr. Higgins thanked Mr Werror for his contribution to Ok Tedi over many years, starting as a graduate trainee, working across all aspects of the business and culminating in his leadership of the company. He wished Mr. Werror every success in his next venture. The OTML Board will immediately commence the process to recruit the next Managing Director & CEO. In the meantime, Mark Thompson, who is currently the General Manager Major Projects, has been appointed as the Acting Chief Executive Officer until the permanent incumbent is identified.   Article courtesy of Ok Tedi Mining

Mining

PNG Business News - November 21, 2022

Porgera Chamber hoping mine re-opens as planned

Photo credit: PNGEITI - Porgera Mine The Porgera chamber of commerce and industry hopes that the re-opening of the mine will go ahead as planned. Chamber president Nickson Pakea said the mine must be re-opened next month as announced recently by Prime Minister James Marape. Pakea said the mine closure had led to criminal activities. “The mine ensures business activities continue and keeps locals busy,” he said. “During its closure, people have nothing to do and easily end up in (illegal) activities.” Pakea said around the valley, nearly 3,000 businesses registered with the Investment Promotion Authority had been dormant because of the slump in economic activity. The chamber has about 706 members, 210 of which are contracted to the mine. The Porgera mine is a joint venture between Barrick Niugini and Zinjing Mining Ltd.  It was closed in 2019 when the special mining lease expired. In 2020, care and maintenance began while awaiting negotiations between the developers, the Government and the landowners. “The Government, in a way, has failed us because the recent fighting has been the worst in history in the valley,” he said. “We’re (therefore) excited with the (scheduled reopening) in December. “Re-opening the mine will bring back all the services ceased since the closure.”   Reference: The National (15 November 2022). “Chamber hoping mine re-opens as planned”.

Mining

PNG Business News - November 12, 2022

Newcrest Delivers Two Million Ounces Of Gold In F22

Photo credit: Mining Digital  There were no pandemic-related delays in Newcrest Mining Limited's 2 million ounces of gold output in the fiscal year 2022, despite the fact that several maintenance and improvement projects were carried out. Sandeep Biswas, managing director of Newcrest, stated at the company's annual general meeting (AGM) in Melbourne that this output was delivered at an All-In Sustaining Cost margin of US$732 per ounce (K2580) and that this was achieved while maintaining a disciplined approach to their financial management, which saw four straight quarters of declining group costs over the course of the previous financial year. He claimed that by successfully completing their acquisition of the Brucejack mine in western Canada, they were able to achieve value-accretive growth as a key goal. “Brucejack is one of the world’s highest-grade operating mines and complements our quality portfolio of large-scale, long-life and low-cost assets. It also means Newcrest now has exposure to six tier 1 ore bodies globally,” Mr Biswas said. He asserted that building a good gold firm requires having a genuine, relevant exposure to copper. “At the end of the 2022 financial year, on a 100 per cent basis, our Group Ore Reserves contain approximately 11 million tonnes of copper, with an estimated 25 million tonnes inclusive of our Group Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources,” Mr Biswas said. “In addition to having a substantial exposure to copper today, it means our exposure is well placed to increase in the future through conversion of Mineral Resources to Ore Reserves. In the last financial year alone copper actually accounted for 25 per cent of Newcrest’s total net revenue, up from 22 per cent just one year earlier. “Our intention is to build on this profile going forward through building of the Red Chris Block Cave, pursuing the approval of Wafi Golpu and with the potential development of Namosi further down the track.”   Reference: Post-Courier (10 November 2022). “Newcrest Delivers Two Million Ounces Of Gold In F22”. 

Mining

PNG Business News - November 11, 2022

Morobe to Revisit Hidden Valley Project Agreement

According to Governor Luther Wenge, the Morobe government will review the 2005 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the Hidden Valley project with developer Harmony Gold Mining and stakeholders. According to Wenge, the original agreement from 2005 called for a review once the Hidden Valley mine had been in operation for three years. “Many things stipulated in the agreement then have not been implemented,” he said.  “The last two governments failed to pursue this and to see that the developer complied with the agreement.  “I will start dialogue with the landowners, the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) and Harmony so that the developer can comply where they have failed to,” Wenge said.  The open-pit gold and silver mine in Morobe's Bulolo area was once a joint venture between South African miner Harmony Gold and Newcrest Mining subsidiary Newcrest Niugini. In order to fully own the mine in the Wau region, Harmony acquired Newcrest Niugini's 50% interest in the joint venture in 2016. The developer declared attaining commercial levels of production in June 2018. As the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV), Harmony and Newcrest also submitted an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Wafi-Golpu Project to the Conservation and Environment Protection Agency on June 25, 2018. (Cepa). Governor Wenge declared that he was in favour of the Special Mining Lease being signed by Wafi-Golpu next month (SML “Wafi-Golpu is a priority now but Harmony is very much aware that we will be revisiting the Hidden Valley agreement,” he said.   Reference: Bauai, Gloria. The National (7 November 2022). “Morobe to revisit agreement”.

Mining

PNG Business News - November 11, 2022

Ok Tedi to Extend Operations Beyond 2032

OK Tedi Mining Limited plans to extend its operation beyond the mine life in 2032. According to managing director Musje Werror, the Ok Tedi mine still contains roughly 200 million tonnes of resource that will remain in the earth after 2032 and can support mine operations long into the 2040s and even the 2050s. “We have been in operations now for 38 years and our facilities are aging and we are now reinvesting into the business in terms of putting money into our processing facilities, fleeting our mine haul and equipment as well and that is in order to take us to the next 10 years,” Mr Werror said. According to him, Ok Tedi won't close anytime soon since the project will continue for a very long time to come. The difficulty is in controlling the environmental effects and figuring out what to do with the waste rock and tailing. “The next 10 years we have in the current life of the mine is to look at the current environment solution that can further extend the mine life well beyond 2032,” Mr Werror said. “In terms of reinvesting into the project, partners such as P&O Maritime Logistics is doing the same thing with the fleets that it has and it is now reinvesting to provide the service and support for Ok Tedi life of mine well into the future.”   Reference: Kamus, Maxine. Post-Courier (8 November 2022). “Ok Tedi To Extend Operations Beyond 2032”.

Mining

PNG Business News - October 31, 2022

New Porgera Limited Vital For Mine Reopening

The New Porgera Limited now stands as the guiding platform to ensure proper governance and transparency of the operations of the mine, once reopened, will be unlike before. New Porgera Limited chairlady Nellie James said the incorporation of New Porgera Limited will be for Porgera Mine as the previous unincorporated venture running of operations and sale of gold was only privy to the individual shareholders. Ms James said the incorporated project company structure allows for a board which is made up of directors representing the shareholders and the full board will be privy to the operation of the mine and to ensure there is proper governance and transparency of the operations. She said actual mining operations will be undertaken by Barrick (Niugini) Ltd, as the operator of the mine and report to NPL, and shareholders await their dividend payment when profit is declared. Other mines in PNG also have an incorporated corporate structure and that includes Ok Tedi and Lihir, and it is not a new concept. “Given the circumstances, this arrangement is better, as all of the parties are seated around the table, rules are set out in the operatorship agreement and transparency and accountability is ensured among the parties in respect to the operations of the mine,” Ms James said. “Also, we now see an equity structure that is a first for PNG as New Porgera has secured 15 per cent protected equity for project area landowners and the province. They get to see their benefits from the moment the mine starts selling gold, while the State, through Kumul Mineral Holdings Limited, awaits the full repayment of the cost incurred during care and maintenance up to mine reopening. “There are other immediate benefits of Porgera Mine reopening that will be seen by other PNG stakeholders earlier than KMHL.”

Mining

PNG Business News - October 26, 2022

State Enterprises Minister visits Ok Tedi

Photo credit: State Enterprises Minister William Duma (Centre in white pants) and his delegation pose for a photo with members of the OTML senior management team at the Ok Tedi mine. Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) recently hosted the Minister for State Enterprises Honourable William Duma during a site visit to the mine on October 20. Minister Duma was accompanied by Kumul Minerals Holdings Ltd Acting Managing Director Hengene Ivan, Kumul Consolidated Holdings Ltd Managing Director Prof. David Kavanamur, State Enterprises Ministry First Secretary Junior Koipi and Second Secretary, Kennedy Poiya. Mr Duma was taken on a tour of the mine and the processing facilities and met with the senior management team who presented the company’s Three-year Plan and the year-to-date performance and outlook for this year. In welcoming the Minister, the OTML Managing Director and CEO, Mr Musje Werror said that Ok Tedi appreciated the Minister taking time off his busy schedule to visit the operations and be informed of the challenges the company was facing post Covid. He added that the Minister last visited the operations in 2004 when he was Minister for Environment and is familiar with Ok Tedi. Minister Duma said Ok Tedi is an important project for the country and that the Government will continue to support it to deliver maximum returns for its PNG shareholders. “The Government recognises the importance of Ok Tedi as a State asset, and as a major contributor to our country’s economy and will continue to support the Company to continue operating for as long as possible with the requisite social and environmental license,” he said. Before departing Tabubil he stated that he had enjoyed his brief visit to the site and was impressed with the cleanliness of the Tabubil township and encouraged management to keep up the good work. OTML is 100 percent PNG owned, with Kumul Minerals Ok Tedi Limited holding 67% of OTML’s shares on behalf of the State and the three entities representing the people of the Western Province collectively holding the remaining 33%. These three entities are Mineral Resources Ok Tedi No.2 Ltd, and Mineral Resources CMCA Limited both owning 12 per cent of OTML, and Mineral Resources Star Mountains Ltd holding the remaining 9 percent.

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