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PNG Business News - June 07, 2021

Cost of Reopening Porgera Mine Roughly K1.052 Billion

According to Mark Bristow, president and chief executive officer of Barrick Niugini Ltd (BNL), the cost of restarting the Porgera mine is roughly US$300 million (K1.052 billion). Bristow indicated that just caring for the mine cost BNL US$120 million (K421 million) and that restarting mining operations at Porgera would cost another US$180 million (K625 million). The sooner the mine reopened, he argued, the better. “I just came back from a meeting to restart the mine. It takes a lot of work to get this mine up and running,” he said. “The world’s mining (industry) is in a boom. So we have to compete with a hot industry at the moment.”  He added that the firm had begun to take in back the workers and employees.  “One of the things we were not prepared to do was to put people at risk when the mine was closed,” he said. “So we retrenched everyone who wasn’t required for care and maintenance and paid them their full dues. When we start the new Porgera it will be a new vehicle. Those who had been working for us will receive their dues, and then everyone starts (afresh).” “As soon as we finalise the documents and create the new company, we will start with fresh employment. We want to employ Porgera people first and other Papua New Guineans second.”  Barrick had 800 employees at the time, some of them were contract workers. “We need to employ another 800 at the end of this year, then another 1,000,” he said. “I’m back in July, the team is working on the prestart.  In 10 days’ time, we will have all drafts ready for negotiation.”  The mine was shut down in April of last year owing to a disagreement between the government and BNL.   Reference: Kero, Gynnie. The National (7 June 2021). “Mine opening at K1.05bil”.

Mining

PNG Business News - June 07, 2021

PM Marape: Porgera landowners will not be left behind this time

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, has assured Porgera Mine landowners in Enga that they will not be left behind in extraction and development of their resources. He gave this assurance when formally handing over the Framework Agreement for reopening of the mine to landowners and the Enga Provincial Government on Friday (June 4th 2021). PM Marape and his delegation also toured the Porgera Mine site after the Framework Agreement presentation. “My visit to the Porgera Mine in the Lagaip-Porgera District today is to talk to the affected landowners, the mine management and other mine-affected communities,” PM Marape told thousands of people in Porgera. “One of the main reasons why I wanted to travel to Porgera was to formally hand over the Framework Agreement to the landowners. “Since taking Office on May 30th, 2019, I have advocated for greater share of the benefits from our resources to affected landowners - and that stands. “That is why we have amended existing resource laws, including the Mining Act 2020 and the Oil and Gas Act 2020, to ensure landowners get a fair share under our ‘Take Back PNG’ slogan. “The State has sought Barrick’s concurrence to release the Framework Agreement, therefore, here I am today to present the framework agreement to the landowners and Enga Provincial Government.” PM Marape said his Government had no intention of leaving out affected landowners, who he said would be included in every step of the way towards reopening the mine. He said that was why they should have a copy of the Framework Agreement before any awareness was carried out. “Landowners and affected communities in Porgera will be well-versed on the impacts of the mine, and the benefits they get as a province. “We will give them a copy (of the agreement) and spell out what is in it for them at our appropriate forums and meetings. “That is the essence of my visit to Porgera. “I know my good people of Porgera understand the Government’s position and will allow the lawful process to take its course towards reopening of the mine with their share of benefits intact. PM Marape further announced that after this visit, his Government would set a date for a proper development forum for discussion on benefits. “I look forward to meeting the good people of Porgera and speaking to affected landowner communities, Enga Provincial Government and the developer Barrick soon,” he said. PM Marape also announced the allocation of K1 million for small businesses in Porgera and K2 million for Porgera General Hospital.

Mining

PNG Business News - June 07, 2021

PM Marape hands over Porgera Framework Agreement to landowners and Enga Provincial Government

Prime Minister Hon.James Marape today visited Porgera accompanied by State Ministers and Government delegates to announce the new Porgera Framework Agreement. The agreement was successfully negotiated with Barrick Niugini Ltd (BNL) in April this year. PM Marape, when handing over the agreement to resume mining operations at Porgera to landowners and the Enga Provincial Government, made several announcements on its overarching benefits. These include: 51 per cent equity by PNG shareholders for 10 years with the option of buying out Barrick’s 49 per cent at fair value; The State is contributing only 36 per cent to restart the mine with 15 per cent free carry equity, with Barrick paying for 64 per cent cost of restart; The State will contribute no cash to upfront to restart as the 36 per cent equity cash call will be raised by Barrick with zero per cent or no interest charge (so this means Kumul Mineral Holdings (KMHL) or the State will not borrow like previous governments did for PNG LNG Project (IPIC) or Oil Search shares (UBS deal); The State has gained additional 1 per cent extra on top of the 2 per cent for royalties allowed by law, The State has secured full 30 per cent corporate tax (unlike Lihir and other mines like Ramu) plus securing of an additional 2 per cent fiscal stability tax; Better local content for more local contractors and employees; One-off US$15 million start-up seed capital for landowners, and every year going forward a US$3m fund for future generations; and Old Porgera legacies remain in the ‘old Porgera basket’. Going forward Government, KMHL and BNL give assurance of resettlement and care to society and environment. PM Marape further outlined that the development forum is proposed to take place this month in Enga where Special Mining Lease (SML), Leases for Mining Purposes (LMP) and all affected areas will get together to split the benefits. Prime Minister thanked to Enga Governor Hon.Sir Peter Ipatas and announced 10 per cent of equity for landowners in Porgera Valley.

Mining

PNG Business News - June 01, 2021

Wafi-Golpu Project Urged To Proceed

Photo Credit: Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture   Landowners of Morobe's US$5.4 billion (K18.48 billion) Wafi-Golpu gold and copper project are urging the government to proceed with the project. The landowners of the special mining license 10, who were represented by their presidents from Hengambu, Yanta, and Babuaf, stated the project had been delayed for far too long. The landowners in the SML 10 region, according to Yanta landowners association president Victor Geactulu, Babuaf landowners association president Jack Raban, and Hengambu landowners association president John Nema, wanted to see the project go through. “The Government, after that development forum, has to progress to the signing of the mine agreement for the operation to start at the mine site,” Nema said. He said that when the multi-billion kina project is completed, it will improve the economy, which is now in a depression. “We call on the Government and the Morobe government and stakeholders to decide on an effective way forward for the immediate start of the mine,” he said. The construction of the Wafi-Golpu project is now before the court, according to Morobe government lawyer Ralph Saulep. “We will not hesitate to cite people for contempt if the situation warrants it,” he said. He stated that the court had heard all questions relating to the legitimacy of the environmental permit given last December 18 and the mine's delay, including the challenge to the grant of the special mining lease. Anyone who feels he or she has standing, according to Saulep, can petition the court to participate as a party.   Reference: The National (1 June 2021). “Call for Govt to fast-track project”.

Mining

PNG Business News - June 01, 2021

Marape to Present Framework Agreement to Porgera Mine Landowners

Aerial view of the Porgera gold mine. (Image courtesy of Zijin Mining.) The Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, MP will formally handover the Framework Agreement for the reopening of the Porgera Mine in Enga Province to the affected landowners. PM Marape announced this today following reports that the affected landowners in the province have apparently protested against a planned visit this week to be called off. “Since taking Office on May 30th 2019, I have advocated for greater share of the benefits from our resources to landowners and affected landowners and that stands. “That is why we have amended existing resource laws including the Mining Act 2020 and the Oil and Gas Act 2020 to ensure landowners get a fair share under our ‘Take Back PNG’ slogan. “My visit to the Porgera Mine in the Lagaip-Porgera District this week was to talk to the affected landowners, the mine management and other mine affected communities. “One of the main reasons why I wanted to travel to Porgera was to formally hand over the Framework Agreement. “The State is currently seeking Barracks concurrence to release the Framework Agreement,’’ said PM Marape. He said that the National Government has no intention of leaving out the affected landowners and will be included in every step of the way towards reopening the mine. “The landowners will be made known and will have a copy of the Framework Agreement before any awareness is carried out, which will include the Enga Provincial Government and their community leaders. “Landowners and affected communities in Porgera are well versed with the impacts of the mine and the benefits they got as a province. We will give them a copy and spell out what is in it for them at our appropriate forums and meetings. “That was the essence of my planned visit to Porgera this week and I know my good people of Porgera understand the Government’s position and allow the lawful processes to take its course towards reopening of the mine with their share of benefits intact,” the Prime Minister said. PM Marape said landowners will not be left behind in pursuit for the extraction and development of our resources including Porgera which my Government is fully supportive of as long as my people get the value for their resources. “I look forward to meeting the good people of Porgera and speaking to the affected landowner communities and the Enga Provincial Government with the developer Barrick soon.” Further, the Prime Minister said after this visit, his Government will set a date for a proper development forum where all benefits will be heard and consulted for benefit split.

Mining

PNG Business News - June 01, 2021

MAML Conducts first Warden Hearing for Maus Markham Mining Lease

Thursday 27th May 2021, marked a significant phase for the operations of Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited with the hosting of the Warden Hearing of the Mining Lease for the Maus Markham Project (ML 167). Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited (MAML) was established on the 14th May 2020, and came into full operation with the appointment of Chief Executive Officer Ms Brigitta Pondros on the 18th of January 2021. The event was attended by Morobe Governor Hon Ginson Saonu, Mineral Resources Authority Deputy Chief Warden Vele Gavu, Provincial Minister for Mining Hon Kekeng Amos, several Morobe Provincial Executive Council Members, MAML staff with the four (4) clans of Labu Butu, Labu Mitic & Labu Talec, Morobe Provincial Programme Adviser Robin Kiki along with several key Provincial Government & Administration Heads. ML 167 – Maus Markham Project Mining lease number 167 (ML 167) is an application lodged with the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) by the company MAML. After this warden hearing, the Deputy Chief Warden submits report to the Mining Advisory Committee (MAC) for grant of Licenses; so MAML can proceed to mine minerals on Maus Markham Lease 167. MAML will lodge a variation of ML Application to mine sand and gravel in the near future. The Maus Markham lease ML 167 situates approximately 2.1 kilometers southeast of Lae City near the Labu Butu village. The proposed project encloses an area of about 789.96 hectares and covers the confluence of Markham river and the sea and progresses upwards in a linear northwest direction covering approximately 6.2 kilometers in distance. The people of Labu Butu live in three different villages as Labu 1, Labu 2 and Labu 3 and all of them a clustered towards the sea side. Point number 2 in the map shows the central location of the village area, the villages stretch along the coastline. The Labu Butu village is within the Ward 8 area and it’s under the Wampar LLG in Huon Gulf District, Morobe Province. MAML visited the village twice for community awareness organized by the local councilor Hon Kipu Anonga. The councilor did prior awareness on his own advising the community that the company MAML will visit the village conducting awareness about the project. The turn out by the community in numbers were good and that alone indicated that the entire village included 4 clan groups are ready to support the mining work of MAML and to any development works for this project. On the other hand, MAML is using the bottom up approach in its mining work. It means MAML is more a community based project at this stage as it utilizes the concept of Family Basic Income Support Program (FBISP) to drive the Triple One (1) Policy Visions. Morobe Governor Hon Ginson Saonu said, Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited is a first of its kind operation in the country where directly a Provincial Government is engaging local alluvial mining lease holders in the province. The end result is an increase of gold production, revenue and employment opportunities for the local alluvial miners, landowners, families in Morobe Province. “The opportunity for the locals to be directly engaged with their Provincial Government to increase opportunities to harness their own resources is now at hand. Therefore, Maus Markham ML 167 is the perfect situation for the locals of Labu within close proximity to work with MPG & MAML.” Governor Saonu added that MAML plays the vital role in creating Employment Opportunities for young Morobeans and Papua New Guineans alike. For the first time as well, our local Alluvial Miners will be able to benefit properly from the sale of their gold. Previously alluvial miners’ resort to artisanal mining practices but now MAML is bringing new knowledge, new ideas and modern mechanized machineries in the alluvial mining industry. MAML CEO Ms Brigitta Pondros added that the Warden Hearing is the initial stage of the process for a Mining Lease to be granted and therefore MAML has met the technical requirement by which MRA has commenced the Warden Hearing with right at the doorstep of the impacted local community of Labu. MAML Senior Mining Engineer Mathew Dalga explained to the locals that after the process of Warden Hearing MAML will conduct further meetings with locals to explain the technical processes of operations prior to begin the exploration process. “It is a lengthy process and once MRA granted License is issued for Maus Markham, MAML will return to the Labu Community to continue more dialogue, to gauge more views and capture ways to properly work with communities in a win-win situation.

Mining

PNG Business News - May 26, 2021

MRA Provides Division on Mine Closures

The Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) will provide a division that will concentrate on what happens when a mine closes. One of the problems found in the industry, according to managing director Jerry Garry, is mine closure. “We are also looking to make sure that there is proper planning or sustainability beyond a mine closure,” he said. “When we close a mine, what else do we have for the people? Do we start growing coffee, cocoa trees to make sure there is economic sustainability beyond the mine? These are the real challenges that we need to address.” According to Garry, the mining industry is organized in such a way that it considers the whole mining life cycle. “In a normal mine life cycle, you would have exploration as the fountain of the business, then you have construction and development, operation of the mine and, eventually, closure,” he said. “These different aspects of the mining business are described in the organisations that are created. And under the MRA, we ensure that the country’s perspective is maintained through marketing and promotion of the mineral assets we have in the country.” Gary also mentioned the importance of exploration investment in the region. “There can never be any mining in the country (without exploration,” he said. “So it is a critical part of the business. We always say that without exploration, there is no money.”   Reference: The National (19 May 2021). “Authority looking at sustainable plans after mine closures”. 

Mining

PNG Business News - May 26, 2021

Mining Operations Halted at Simberi Mine

St Barbara Limited is profoundly saddened to report that a local Papua New Guinean employee was killed at its Simberi Operations in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The event has been the subject of a thorough investigation. The Papua New Guinea Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) has been notified. Mining activities have been briefly halted, with plans to restart when conditions are secure. St Barbara is giving care and assistance to the worker's families, the local neighbourhood, and all Simberi Operations staff. Craig Jetson, Managing Director and CEO, said, “This is devastating news. Our thoughts are with the employee’s family, friends and colleagues at Simberi. The safety and wellbeing of our employees is our highest priority. Safety Always is St Barbara’s Commitment to our people and the cause of the incident will be thoroughly investigated.” References: St. Barbara Press Release (21 May 2021). “Fatality at Simberi Operations, PNG”. The National (24 May 2021). “Mine production on hold”.

Mining

PNG Business News - May 13, 2021

Mayur Resources Close to Developing PNG's First Iron and Industrial Sands Project

Mayur Resources Ltd is nearing completion on the country's first iron and industrial sands project in Orokolo Bay, Gulf, with the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) reviewing its mining lease proposal. Mayur Resource Ltd managing director Paul Mulder said the MRA had already received the company's K60 million project and evaluation proposal, which was submitted earlier this year. He said it was not a big undertaking, but the advantages to the region would include direct and indirect job growth, as well as the fact that it was a sustainable mining operation inland from the coast. Multiple mechanised sago operations will be introduced as a post-mining activity at the mining site, replicating facilities that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and French energy company Total had already built further up the Purari River.  “We are ensuring that prior to us beginning the mining, everyone must be clear on the direct and indirect benefits as well as sustainable ongoing benefits,” Mulder said. “We can’t say when the MRA will have the project assessed. “That is their internal processes. “But if you compare projects such as Wafi-Golpu, this project is well over 100 times bigger than what we are proposing in capital construction cost and is more complex and much larger in scale. “The initial benefits will last for 15 years with follow on sustainable mechanised sago plantations to continue well after this. “We feel that this could be assessed in an expedient manner as it will benefit many parties and is not complex, involves no chemicals and can be commenced in a much shorter time frame.” Mulder clarified that the project was not to be confused with beach sand mining since it was an ancient buried paleo-geological formation deposit inland, away from the coast, where standard mining methods can be used in accordance with the Mining Act.

Mining

PNG Business News - April 26, 2021

Bougainville President Says Panguna Mine Talks on Hold

President Ishmael Toroama of Bougainville has said that any talks on the infamous Panguna mine will be placed on hold until the government is satisfied that all parties concerned are happy and determined to speak about reopening the mine. When unveiling the Autonomous Bougainville Government's Independence-ready mission to the citizens of Roreinang in the South Nasioi constituency of inland Central Bougainville last Thursday, Mr Toroama made this remark. He stated that it is no secret that the region's taxes only amount to K20 million, which is insufficient to keep it afloat economically. Although President Toroama said Bougainville is looking at ventures that will help it become economically self-sufficient as it works toward independence, he said the country cannot discuss Panguna just yet. The government is looking at the reconstruction of the Manetai Limestone Project in Central Bougainville, as well as bringing in an investor to work on the Tonolei timber project in South Bougainville project before the end of the year. President Toroama also announced that the Kieta Port would begin exporting processed cocoa. He said that he wants people to work hard to grow Bougainvillean products. Mr Toroama also stated that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the area must register in order to pay taxes to the government, which will support Bougainville's tax and revenue bases. He claims that by doing so, the country can demonstrate that it is ready for freedom and can fend for itself. People only hinder the advent of an independent society, he claimed, because they disregard the constitution and are unable to act independently and in favour of the ultimate goal of self-rule. “When you destroy schools, hospitals or communication towers, you are not helping to ready Bougainville for independence. “We must respect government properties, we must work with development partners and we must work hard within our families, our communities and constituencies to make Bougainville Independence ready,” President Toroama said. “We must work on our cocoa blocks. We must grow our small businesses and we must create original products to market to grow our economy. “Since assuming office, I have been cleaning out our government and its agencies. “Government departments are aligning themselves with the government’s six-goal strategy to attain independence for Bougainville, and that is the preparation we are undertaking at the top level. “Only then can we be seen to be ready to be an independent nation.”

Mining

PNG Business News - April 19, 2021

Bill Aids in Mine Reopening

According to Mining Minister Johnson Tuke, the Mining (Amendment) Bill 2020, which was passed by Parliament last year, led to the contract agreement recently signed by the Government and Barrick Niugini Ltd to reopen the Porgera gold mine. The Mining (Amendment) Bill 2020 was passed by Parliament, allowing the government to invest in the production of the country's natural resource ventures. The Bill was intended to provide the State with a legal basis for applying for a tenement and developing a mine. Johnson stated at the time that the Bill was intended to provide a legal framework for the State to reserve property that was the product of an extended, abandoned, revoked, or relinquished tenement for which the State had made a new application. Tuke questioned whether the modification aided negotiations on the proposed Porgera deal, saying, “That also had a reference to it. But sometimes we have to change the culture of conducting business. Our conduct of business in mining has to be in the international context. The former and the colonial way of conducting business must change, and we apply the national principles of conducting business. What has happened is not a surprise. Most of our mining operations are subscribed under the Mining Act 1992.” Tuke added in the PNG context, “we are playing a catch-up game. “We have got to be on par.” Meanwhile, Motsy David, the State's first assistant secretary, said the state never kept track of how many natural resources were exported. “In the 70s and 80s, we never monitor how (much) gold went out,” David said. “We only relied on (information) the company was supplying. We believe that information like (the) Bible.”

Mining

PNG Business News - April 19, 2021

Businesses Welcome Porgera Reopening

The reopening of Porgera has been welcomed by the Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), as the mine provides jobs in shipping, processing, distribution, and movement of products from Lae up the Highlands. President of the LCCI, John Byrne, said that while resource projects were important for the economy, it was also encouraging to see the government and other organizations working to improve agriculture. “It is a vital step for our country in terms of investor confidence, but of equal and more important to the lives and livelihood of our people and businesses from Porgera down to Lae, not excluding the beneficial impact to all provinces,” he said. “Agriculture is a key programme in PNG but without the resource projects, local and overseas investment, education and planning they will not bring immediate relief to our communities. “It will take some months to restore the site to a safe and operational business and we encourage all parties to work together to ensure this happens with due haste. “We also encourage the opening of progressive talks on Wafi-Golpu, another critical project which will have a broader impact than simply a resource project. “With the combined pressure of the Covid-19 having a detrimental effect on the economy and health of our people, and the shortening of forex (foreign exchange) and Government funds to pay suppliers, important investments and projects like these provide a platform which will as Prime Minister James Marape says, move to ‘Take back PNG’, for all local and overseas legal and tax-paying businesses and our people,” Byrne said. Meanwhile, Bank South Pacific group chief executive officer Robin Fleming said, “Notwithstanding that there still needs to be a more detailed agreement on certain aspects of the agreements, Friday’s announcement gives a business much confidence of a process of rehabilitation of the mine commencing with a re-commissioning this year.” “Barrick’s stated commitment to funding the costs associated with re-commissioning is also positive, and preliminary work required to move the mine towards commencing operations will-in-itself bring much needed foreign exchange into the country. “Businesses in Porgera and support companies, especially transportation companies will see this as a much-needed boost to their businesses and of course former employees of the Porgera Joint Venture will be looking forward to rejoining the workforce.” Cameron Mackellar, CEO of Brian Bell Group, said the country needed this now more than ever because it "would most likely help kick-start a very subdued economy," as well as his company's industry, especially in regional locations. “It will be great to hear when operations will resume and see the positive impacts on all those small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) who absolutely relied on Porgera operations.” The Stanley Hotel and Suites general manager Geoff Haigh said like everyone in the hospitality industry, they were pleased with the news about the Porgera gold mine reopening. This will provide a much-needed boost to the economy in general,” he said. It was a relief to the local population and business houses in the Porgera-Laiagam and Enga areas, according to the Porgera chamber of commerce and industry. President Nickson Pakea said the mine's closure a year ago had a major impact on smaller companies working in the Porgera mine's industry spin-off catchments. Since last April, the mine has been closed and in care and repair due to the State's refusal to extend the exclusive mining contract. It is expected to reopen later this year. According to the terms of the deal, Porgera will be owned 51 per cent by PNG stakeholders (Kumul Mineral Holdings Ltd, Enga government, and landowners) and 49 per cent by Barrick Niugini Ltd in a new joint venture (BNL).

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Mining

PNG Business News - April 19, 2021

Governor Saonu wants Wafi-Golpu Mine to have Same Benefit Sharing as Porgera Mine

Governor Ginson Saonu of Morobe wants the Wafi-Golpu project to benefit from the same benefit-sharing agreement as the current Porgera mine. He said the Porgera deal, which gave PNG stakeholders 51 per cent ownership, was good news for the Wafi-Golpu talks. “I am optimistic we will have a much more superior arrangement coming out of Wafi-Golpu,” he said. “We have learnt, but there is still much more to be done as we as a country and for our Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister James Marape and Pangu Pati, to own our resource projects and strive towards economic independence.” Morobe wanted to lead the way, according to Saonu, and he saw Wafi-Golpu as the impetus for this transition, which would result in the growth of more industries and other economic benefits. Given the many new changes, he said the Morobe government was now finalizing an analysis of their policy paper. Saonu stated that he planned to present it to the National Government this month in order to prepare for the mining production negotiations as well as the benefits to the province and landowners. “Our position is that we want all stakeholders to benefit equitably,” he said. “The developer, the Government, the Morobe government, landowners and Morobe province. “This Wafi-Golpu mine is a significant mine in the region and it is important all parties are happy to move this project.” The Morobe government's stance on deep-sea tailings positioning and court matters, according to Saonu, remained unchanged.

Mining

PNG Business News - April 16, 2021

Chamber Welcomes PM Announcement On Mine Reopening

The Porgera Chamber of Commerce has welcomed Prime Minister James Marape's announcement that the Porgera mine in Enga Province will reopen. President of the Chamber, Nickson Pakea, praised the Prime Minister for announcing the reopening of the Porgera mine with a "far superior offer" than the previous 31 years from 1989 to 2021. Pakea praised the PM's assurances of a much better deal for landowners, the Enga Provincial Government, and balance of equity by Kumul Minerals Holdings. “More than 3000 micro small and medium enterprise (MSMEs and SMEs), 1000 local contractors and 3000 employees have suffered during the mine closure since April last year". “Essential services such as electricity, road network, health and education facilities and law and order have deteriorated,” he said. The closure has impacted more than 40,000 people in the Porgera valley who depend on the mine, according to Pakea. Since last year, he said, the Porgera Chamber of Commerce has been urging the National Government to reopen the mine at all costs in order to save both people and local enterprises, as well as the economy. “We are grateful that finally Mr Marape and KHL have invited Barrick to re-open the mine. “Porgera valley is not what it used to be. All services have deteriorated and there is no cash flow,” Mr Pakea said. He claimed that more than 80% of local businesses have closed, sending workers home, as residents struggle to put food on the table. The president also urged landowners to put their disagreements aside and work cooperatively with the government to reopen the mine. Pakea urged the Prime Minister to ensure those legacy problems for both SML and LMP landowners are resolved to support the local population. 

Mining

PNG Business News - April 16, 2021

Mining Minister: Wafi-Golpu Next Big Project

The Wafi-Golpu Mine in Morobe Province is the next big mineral project on the Government's agenda, according to Mining Minister Johnston Tuke. Minister Tuke said that the project would be funded by the end of the current legislative session. Mining Minister Johnston Tuke declared on April 9 that the Wafi-Golpu Mine Special Mining Lease (SML) will be granted next, following the signing of the Framework Agreement between the State and Barrick Niugini Limited. He stated that the government intends to have the project accepted as quickly as possible. “Wafi-Golpu is the next project where this Government is looking forward to endorsing before its term expires. Hopefully, before the end of this political year calendar I will endorse or grant the SML to Wafi-Golpu (Joint Venture),” said Minister Tuke. The Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture received an Environmental Permit from the State in March. The Morobe Provincial Government, however, quickly brought the matter to court, protesting WGJV's Deep Sea Tailings Placement process, which had been accepted by the State in the Environmental Permit. Minister Tuke said they'll keep looking for a way to go on with the K18.4 billion mining project. “This Government is proactive in its approach, this government is proactive in committing itself to deliver what it has meant to deliver. So Wafi-Golpu irrespective of the court proceedings, the manner is more or less uniform,” he said.

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