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PNG Business News - December 09, 2021

K92 Mining Announces Latest High-Grade Underground Drill Results at Kora

Photo credit: K92 Mining K92 Mining Inc. is pleased to announce results from the ongoing underground diamond drilling of the Kora deposit at the Kainantu gold mine in Papua New Guinea. The results for the latest 50 diamond drill holes completed from underground into the Kora deposit are summarized in Table 1 below. The results continue to demonstrate the high-grade and continuity of Kora, with intersections largely focused on increasing drill density up-dip, down-dip and to the south to upgrade resources for the upcoming Kora resource update which will then be integrated into the Stage 3 Expansion Definitive Feasibility Study. Results also include step out drilling to the south and north outside of the existing resource envelope. From the drilling results, all drill holes intersected mineralization, with 10 intersections exceeding 20 g/t AuEq, 25 intersections exceeding 10 g/t AuEq and 53 intersections exceeding 5 g/t AuEq. The results are highlighted by holes KMDD0415 recording multiple intersections including 7.51 m at 192.50 g/t Au, 8 g/t Ag and 0.22% Cu (192.92 g/t AuEq, 4.11 m true width) from the K1 Vein; KMDD0312 recording multiple intersections including 7.60 m at 41.02 g/t Au, 24 g/t Ag and 0.41% Cu (41.91 g/t AuEq, 4.96 m true width) from the K1 Vein; KMDD0441 recording multiple intersections including 12.65 m at 25.97 g/t Au, 94 g/t Ag and 6.60% Cu (36.54 g/t AuEq, 8.16 m true width) from the K2 Vein, and; KMDD0471 recording multiple intersections including 8.00 m at 17.78 g/t Au, 39 g/t Ag and 2.03% Cu (21.16 g/t AuEq, 5.26 m true width) from the K1 Vein. Holes KMDD0415, KMDD0441 and KMDD0471 extended high-grade mineralization up-dip, and hole KMDD0312 delivered higher grades than nearby holes. Drilling to the south continued to record high-grade intersections. Highlights include: KMDD0443 recording multiple intersections including 16.90 m at 3.03 g/t Au, 283 g/t Ag and 4.30% Cu (12.83 g/t AuEq, 10.42 m true width) from the K2 Vein, and; KMDD0453 recording multiple intersections including 8.20 m at 5.52 g/t Au, 97 g/t Ag and 6.35% Cu (15.77 g/t AuEq, 4.88 m true width) from the K2 Vein, both located outside the current resource. Additionally, KMDD0427 recorded multiple intersections including 12.00 m at 12.57 g/t Au, 194 g/t Ag and 8.46% Cu (27.08 g/t AuEq, 8.15 m true width) from the K2 Vein, and; KMDD0459 recorded multiple intersections including 6.20 m at 5.65 g/t Au, 166 g/t Ag and 8.74% Cu (20.19 g/t AuEq, 4.12 m true width) from the K2 Vein, both extending a known high-grade area towards the south, within the resource envelope. Step-out drilling to the north also encountered high-grade intersections, demonstrating the potential for higher-grade mineralization to extend to the north, which was previously not an exploration focus. Highlights include: KMDD0312 recording multiple intersections including 7.60 m at 41.02 g/t Au, 24 g/t Ag and 0.41% Cu (41.91 g/t AuEq, 4.96 m true width) from the K1 Vein; KMDD0342 recording multiple intersections including 5.36 m at 29.28 g/t Au, 4 g/t Ag and 0.11% Cu (29.50 g/t AuEq, 4.30 m true width) from the K1 Vein and 5.60 m at 13.77 g/t Au, 153 g/t Ag and 1.49% Cu (17.90 g/t AuEq, 3.93 m true width) from the K2 Vein, and; KMDD0332 recording multiple intersections including 1.65 m at 21.41 g/t Au, 2 g/t Ag and 0.07% Cu (21.53 g/t AuEq, 1.07 m true width) from the K1 Vein. As the twin incline development advances towards the Kora Resource, there will be increased capability to target Kora Deeps and a potential northern strike extension to depth in the second half of 2022. Other high-grade intersections include: KMDD0401 recording multiple intersections including 5.53 m at 16.73 g/t Au, 6 g/t Ag and 0.75% Cu (17.87 g/t AuEq, 3.40 m true width); KMDD0322 recording multiple intersections including 6.20 m at 16.91 g/t Au, 3 g/t Ag and 0.19% Cu (17.22 g/t AuEq, 5.01 m true width), and; KMDD0328 recording multiple intersections including 4.80 m at 16.31 g/t Au, 2 g/t Ag and 0.07% Cu (16.44 g/t AuEq, 4.34 m true width), all three intersections from the K1 Vein. On the K2 Vein, KMDD0437 recorded multiple intersections including 2.15 m at 19.27 g/t Au, 10 g/t Ag and 1.12% Cu (20.99 g/t AuEq, 1.64 m true width). Long sections of K1 and K2 showing the location of the latest drill holes are provided in figures 1 and 2, respectively. A long section showing Kora drilling to date is provided in figure 3. A core photograph of drill hole KMDD0415 is provided in figure 4 and a core photograph of drill hole KMDD0427 is provided in figure 5. John Lewins, K92 Chief Executive Officer and Director, stated, “The latest drilling results at Kora continue to deliver very high grades, solid thickness while also expanding known and delineating new high-grade areas. Of the 50 holes drilled, all intersected mineralization, 10 intersections exceeded 20 g/t AuEq and 25 intersections exceeded 10 g/t AuEq. The results also featured one of our higher-grade holes reported to date, KMDD0415 at 7.51 m at 192.92 g/t gold equivalent from the K1 Vein. In addition to high-grade step-outs to the south, the results were also highlighted by high-grade step-outs to the north. Until recently, northern strike extension drilling has not been a focus and we are very encouraged by the high-grade drilling results, which included KMDD0312 recording 7.60 m at 41.91 g/t AuEq from the K1 vein; KMDD0342 recording 5.36 m at 29.50 g/t AuEq from the K1 Vein, and; 5.60 m at 17.90 g/t AuEq from the K2 Vein. As the twin incline advances to the south towards the resource at Kora, in the second half of 2022, we plan to utilize this infrastructure to explore not only Kora Deeps but also potential northern extensions to Kora. I would also like to note that this set of results at Kora will be our final set ahead of our upcoming Kora resource update. Over the past 18 months, drilling at Kora has largely been infill and we are pleased to highlight that we have recently commenced a major pivot to resource growth focused drilling. At Judd, there now four drill rigs operating from underground; the majority of our underground drill rigs. At Kora South, drilling has recently commenced for the first time from surface and plans are in place to add a second drill rig. Step-out drilling at Kora will also progress from underground. Deeper targeted drilling at the Blue Lake porphyry is well underway, in addition to multiple holes awaiting core logging and assay. We have eliminated our core logging and assay backlog at Kora and Judd. We are certainly excited about our exploration activities for 2022.”   Article courtesy of K92 Mining

Mining

PNG Business News - December 08, 2021

Marape: Porgera to Open in April 2022

According to Prime Minister James Marape, the multi-billion kina Porgera mine will reopen in April of next year. He said that Papua LNG, P'Nyang, and Wafi-Golpu, the country's three main significant resource projects, were "on track." The government also aims to "finish off" the Pasca A oil and gas project. “For Porgera, work to restart (the mine) has happened and we are looking at April 2022,” Marape said. “For P’Nyang, we brought it back on the table and it’s pretty much in advanced discussions with the SNT (state negotiating team).” He stated that the government wants more "for our resources." “The industries respect what we want, even in the context of existing law,” he said. “The push to get back more for our resources remain very much active on the table. “We are trying to synchronise P’Nyang with the Papua LNG. “Papua is moving ahead. They will be going into feed next year and hopefully by 2024, they go into FID and construction later on. “We are trying to ride P’Nyang on the back of Papua. If the two constructions are sequenced properly, this country will see the benefit of six, seven or eight years of construction activities.” He stated that negotiations with landowners and the Morobe administration on Wafi-Golpu will continue shortly.   Reference:  Pacific Mining Watch (6 December 2021). “PNG's Porgera Mine to Open in April, 2022 : Marape”.

Mining

PNG Business News - December 06, 2021

OK Tedi Mining Expects Growth In The Next Few Years

Over the next few years, OK Tedi Mining Limited expects to witness a gradual growth in dividends of up to K1 billion each year. Musje Werror, managing director and chief executive officer, spoke at the PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference and Exhibition in 2021. Mr Werror stated that OTML's 2021 Strategic Business Plan affirmed a US$475 million increase in value to US$3.7 billion, with the mine life extended by three years from 2029 to 2032. A boost in value from the 2020 plan, which saw the mine's life extended from 2026 to 2029. According to him, the revised value and mine life extension are contingent on the timely completion of five critical essential projects. These projects include the removal of 20 million tonnes of debris from the Centre Pit at a cost of $62 million in order to gain access to high-grade ore from 2023, the construction of a 400 million tonnes Engineered Waste Rock Dump at a cost of $135 million to allow for a larger pit shell and the possibility of in-pit disposal, underground depressurisation of the pit walls to ensure wall stability at a cost of $10 million, increasing storage capacity for PCon to extend beyond 2032 at a The US$240 million Crusher Replacement Project was another big project completed last year. By 2023, mining will have begun where the old crusher stood, allowing access to high-grade ore. “The next 12 months will see OTML complete the transition from current lower grade ore to high grade ore sources. “While we had hoped this transition would start to be evident by the final quarter 2022 the impact of COVID on material movement in the mine over the last 15 months has pushed this into 2023.” Mr. Werror predicted that revenues would rise steadily from around US$1 billion per year to around US$1.4 billion in the coming years. “This in turn will see a progressive increase in dividends up to PGK1billion per annum over the next several years, before increasing even further thereafter. “This of course subject to fluctuation in metal prices and assumes copper price will be in the range US$3.70 to US$3.80/lb over the three-year period and a gold price that will trend down from US$1,800/oz towards US$1,500/oz,” he added. “The Company expects to generate circa PGK30 billion in benefits over the next 10 years. “The future looks very promising from a social and economic perspective for the country and the extension of mine life provides additional time for the company to explore and develop new ore resources.”   Reference: Post-Courier (3 December 2021. “Werror: OK Tedi Eyes K1bn In Dividends”.

Mining

PNG Business News - December 02, 2021

Adyton Resources hits significant copper at Feni Island, Papua New Guinea

Photo credit: Adyton Resources Adyton Resources Corporation has reported significant copper assays at its 100% owned Feni Island Project (Feni) in Papua New Guinea following the completion of the company’s maiden drilling program of five diamond holes (1,982m) in September. The initial objectives of the program were to expand the gold resource as well as test various induced polarisation (IP) anomalies for the potential of a copper porphyry system.  Multi-element assays have now been returned with significant copper intersections being recorded from hole ADK004 in two zones – a shallower disseminated zone of copper mineralisation followed by a zone of massive sulphide copper mineralisation: Disseminated Cu + Au: •             35.9m (70.7 to 106.6m) @ 0.3% Cu & 1.1g/t Au Massive sulphide Cu + Au: •             6.4m (149.7 to 156.1m) @ 5.1% Cu & 1.6g/t Au                Incl         3.6m (151.5 to 155.1m) @ 6.9% Cu & 2.1g/t Au Incl         0.7m (154.4 to 155.1m) @ 14.5% Cu & 2.4g/t Au Adyton Resources President, Executive Chairman and CEO, Mr Frank Terranova, said the assay results demonstrated Feni’s significant copper potential. “The results confirm that Feni could contain zones of high-grade copper within the extensive gold mineralisation and this confirmation of massive sulphide copper in the system justifies more work which is currently being planned,” Mr Terranova said. “The recent drilling program has highlighted the potential for a significant discovery to be made in the 1.5km long Kabang structural corridor. The corridor is lightly drilled, and going north is covered by younger volcanic cover, which has hindered previous exploration efforts – a focus of the next program will be exploring under this younger cover.” Located in a Tier 1 region along a mineral belt containing the world class Simberi, Lihir, and Panguna gold and copper projects, Mr Terranova added that the model at Feni was for a “Lihir-style” epithermal gold overprint on a deeper porphyry copper system.

Mining

PNG Business News - November 26, 2021

PNG Chamber of Mines And Petroleum Concerned About Gold Refinery and Mint Facility

The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum is worried that the resources industry has not been consulted on the building of a gold refinery and mint plant in the country. The chamber said in a sponsored advertisement that without consultation, the repercussions on the gold sector would be unclear, and decision-makers would be unable to make informed judgments. “The Chamber of Mines and Petroleum place on record, major concerns on the enacting of an enabling legislation to establish a gold processing project in the country,” the chamber said. “The Chamber represents all current gold mining and processing projects in the country envisages far-reaching ramifications for all companies participating in the mining industry, and serious impacts on our country’s status as an attractive investment destination for mineral exploration, development and investment. “Consultation on any proposed legislation in the industry is essential. “This is especially important for legislations that have far-reaching implications for the revenue streams that fund the industry. “There has been no consultation with industry about the proposed project, therefore, the industry and the business community in the country do not know the full implications of this project. “We request for collaborative consultation on this legislation before it is tabled in Parliament, to ensure that the implications of the legislation on the industry can be fully understood.” Former chief secretary Isaac Lupari also said more consultation needed to be done on the proposed facility. According to Lupari, the idea might provide a foreign-owned corporation with unprecedented access to what should be a substantial governmental asset. Prime Minister James Marape informed Parliament that any agreement reached with investors will not jeopardize the country's existing mining and alluvial mine operators. He answered queries about the project deal from Opposition Leader Belden Namah.   Reference: Pacific Mining Watch (19 November 2021). “PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum says gold refinery will have implications on industry”.

Mining

PNG Business News - November 25, 2021

Ok Tedi appoints national to lead Mine Maintenance team

Photo credit: Ok Tedi Mining - Manager Mine Maintenance, Mek Kelly. Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) is proud to announce the recent appointment of a national to lead the Mine Maintenance Department within its Mining Business Unit. Mek Kelly was appointed Manager Mine Maintenance effective as of November 19th 2021. Mr Kelly started with OTML 18 years ago as an apprentice and then joined the Mine Maintenance Department as a Heavy Equipment Fitter and worked on the shopfloor for 5 years. He then progressed into supervisory positions and has held the Mine Maintenance Superintendent Workshop role for the past 4 years. Whilst working for OTML, Mek also obtained additional engineering qualifications from the Australia Pacific Technical College and TAFE. Acting General Manager Mining, David Laulau, said, “Mek’s leadership style, commitment to safety, technical expertise, dedication and work ethic will ensure a smooth transition into his new role and will greatly assist the Mining Business Unit in achieving OTML’s Vision for the future.” Mr James Lees, who held the Manager Mine Maintenance role for the past 4 years, will assume the role of Advisor Mine Maintenance and will continue to support, mentor and advise Mr Kelly going forward. In line with OTML's Vision 2025, several national employees were appointed to leadership positions this year. They include Isaac Kwetok as Deputy General Manager Processing, Anna Ila as Manager Safety, Robin August as Manager ICT, Francis Karogo Manager Power Services, Oala Rarua as Manager Geology & Exploration, Masket Siune as Manager Mine Support Services and Iga Au as Manager Bige Operations. OTML Managing Director & CEO Musje Werror said that OTML is blessed with strong and committed national leaders who are ready to take on senior roles in the company and are focused on maximising benefits for the country.     Article courtesy of Ok Tedi Mining

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PNG Business News - November 22, 2021

PM MARAPE SAYS PNG MUST REFINE AND MINT ITS GOLD AND ADD VALUE TO ITS RESOURCES

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says his Pangu Pati-led Government’s vision to build a gold refinery and mint factory in the country is a bold move in the right direction to take back more from our gold resources and reserves. It also includes having a gold bullion bank into the future. PM Marape was responding to questions from Opposition Leader, Belden Namah, on the full details of the signing of a proposed PNG Gold Refinery and Mint Factory and accusations of him selling PNG gold rights. He said of all the natural resources PNG was blessed with, gold was the highest-valued asset  in the country, and a secure form of bankable commodity that PNG could use to secure its economy from economic shocks.  PM Marape said since the 1800s, gold was harvested in the country, and the country had been exporting gold since but  never saw and or knew how much gold was produced in country. The Prime Minister said he was stepping into a new frontier where past governments, leaders, and prime ministers had never trod: to take back more for our gold through downstream processing which would add value to our economy. He told Parliament that the proponents of the PNG gold refinery and mint factory and the Government had signed an agreement for the business, but the deal was a work in progress, not final, and open to scrutiny to any suggestions for improvements so as not to harm the national interest. “The agreement that we have  signed with the proponents of the proposed PNG Gold Refinery and Mint Factory can be relooked at if it is not in the best interest of our country and nation, " PM Marape said.  “We do not owe a bar of soap to the proponents.  " They have been pushing this proposal in the last eight to nine years through past governments and ministers.  "The former Prime Minister’ Cabinet approved the project in 2014 through NEC Decision 297/2014, and my Government has reviewed this to get better benefits. “The former Prime Minister knows about it.  " They have been going and coming back and forth with their proposal, and they wanted an 80-90-year exclusivity right to mint and refine all gold in PNG and export overseas. " Under the review that my Government put through the State Negotiation Process, we have arrived at a much improved version that includes an equal 50-50 ownership, with Refinery Holdings Ltd putting up the entire capital to construct the refinery and associated business.  "The 50 per cent State equity will  be split between Mineral Resources Development Company for landowners, as well as an option for alluvial miners and Kumul Minerals "Contrary to what many speculate, the agreement is for a 30-year period with another option of extending for another 30 years, and in all material time State has option of paying the investor partner out. “All our normal State processes, including State Solicitor clearances, were done, hence, NEC processed the submissions.  "We are now allowing industry and stakeholder consultation, and a review on what we are doing so we get it right in this direction we are moving."  PM Marape also instructed the proponents to ensure that they were fully-linked and compliant to  world gold industry bench-markers like the London Gold Bullion Association and their market rules. “Government intention is correct, as this will link to international benchmark for gold bullion and refinery trade, and this is the right and first step in that direction that we are taking,"he said.  “The agreement we have signed is not the final document, but continual due process will take its course, including consultations with gold industry stakeholders.  " This includes  big operators and our small alluvial operators, so that our intention to downstream our gold adds value to both their business and our economy.  “I give my country my assurance that we will not sell and sign off our country’s birthright.  "We do not owe a bar of soap to the proponents, and if there is  room for improvements in the agreement in our national interest, then those improvements will be made. “We can review the agreement and or any agreements we have signed if it is not consistent in law, it is only the 10  Commandments that you don’t change.  "But as far as the advice that Cabinet and my Office received, all due process were complied with thus far, and we are now consulting for the legislation to be promulgated to embrace this venture." PM Marape appointed a committee of leaders to headed by Governors Gary Juffa and Dr William Tongamp, Hon. Don Polye and Hon. Manasseh Makiba to go through what was agreed to ensure national interest was secured. He also met the Chamber of Mining today,  led by Mr Richard Kassman, on this matter and gave assurance that this proposal would not be rushed through without stakeholder consultation.  "This is because the industry must appreciate the shift in my Government’s focus towards downstream processing of raw resources and for export of finished products," PM Marape said.  “My stand is very clear, and as the Prime Minister, we want to add value to the benefits from our resources like gold, oil, gas and others.  " Our industries must now realise that downstream processing of resources will be the way of business for us in PNG, and gold is no exception. “All stakeholders will be consulted and their views taken on board, and review the agreement to add value to our gold resources. "

Mining

PNG Business News - November 19, 2021

Woodlark Gold Project Delayed

Photo credit: Geopacific Resources The developer stated that work on the Woodlark Gold Project is now delayed and behind schedule. In an update, Geopacific Resources Limited reported that the company has decided to postpone the project until Q1/Q2 2022. The impact of unseasonal inclement weather, according to the firm, has resulted in a short-term worsening in ground conditions, reducing the capacity to undertake the civil works program in preparation for the CIL plant's construction. COVID-19 cases have continued to climb across Papua New Guinea, with a flow-on impact to the rest of the country, due to a lack of project construction on the island at the level necessary to guarantee work streams were performed cost effectively and efficiently. Geopacific remains dedicated to assisting in the implementation of this essential health program as quickly as feasible. The corporation has also opted to revisit the original wharf design and consider a potential improvement of the current wharf facilities in order to minimize costs and construction complexity while increasing community involvement in the project. According to the firm, design and engineering work for the offshore component of the tailings pipeline is behind schedule, which is delaying the issuance of construction tenders required to finalize capital estimates. Chief executive officer, Tim Richards said, “Whilst the delays in the Project are disappointing, they should not take away from the quality of the underlying asset base. Woodlark is a compelling project, with a goal of producing over 1 million ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of A$1,239 per ounce during the asset's life. “We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of the delays on the Project schedule, and post the completion of the Project review we will update the market to the extent of the impacts on the Project Execution Plan. “Importantly, we continue to progress exploration, with these activities continuing. There remains significant exploration potential at the Project, which we expect will result in additional value creation at Woodlark.”   Reference: Post-Courier (17 November 2021). “Woodlark Gold Project Faces Delay”.

Mining

PNG Business News - November 18, 2021

Bougainville Copper Limited Prepared to Assist Government

Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) is prepared to assist the government and the people of Bougainville. Sir Mel Togolo, Chairman of the BCL Board of Directors, shared this sentiment, saying that the business stands ready to assist ABG in generating the type of money it needs to grow its economy. Sir Mel claimed that the ABG Government and the people of Bougainville now control 36 per cent of BCL and that the company must help the country's economic revival. He claimed that after the National Government's remaining 36 per cent shares are transferred to Bougainville as promised by Prime Minister James Marape, Bougainville would own 72 per cent of the company, with private stockholders owning the remaining 28 per cent. Sir Mel went on to say that this is true independence for Bougainville, and that it will spur additional economic activities for Bougainvilleans who will be able to run private service contracts, which will spur further economic activity in our villages. “Bougainvilleans need to make up their mind to start exploration operations before 2025. “The quicker we start something the better for Bougainville.” Sir Mel further stated that BCL, as a local firm, continues to accept requests for financial help from organisations in Bougainville as part of its community commitments. On Bougainville, it has helped with school fees, other educational support, health care, sports, religious groups, youth and women's groups, and communication and tourist activities. When workers, contractors, and the firm itself pays taxes to ABG, the Chairman claims that the corporation can still earn enough revenue for Bougainville's economic recovery program using cutting-edge technology. Sir Mel indicated that BCL is ready to begin work provided the ABG and its people, particularly the Panguna landowners, grant their approval.   Reference: Post-Courier (16 November 2021). “BCL Ready To Rescue Bougainville”. 

Mining

PNG Business News - November 16, 2021

K92 Mining Releases Strong Q3 Financial Results and Achieves Stage 2 Expansion Run-Rate Throughput in September

Photo credit: K92 Mining Inc.  K92 Mining Inc. is pleased to announce financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021. John Lewins, K92 Chief Executive Officer and Director, stated, “Despite 2021 being one of the most challenging years our Company has faced due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also featured numerous major accomplishments, setting the operation up for a very promising near and long-term. On production, the processing plant achieved Stage 2 Expansion run-rate throughput in September averaging 1,100 tpd. Importantly, the plant delivered a notably finer than required grind size and also set multiple daily records well in excess of the 1,100 tpd design. This has continued in October, with a new daily record of 1,538 tonnes processed on October 24, 2021. The strong performance of the process plant, resulted in the approval of a Stage 2A Expansion, which is expected to increase throughput a further +25% to 500,000 tpa. Commissioning is expected in Q3 2022, with a low estimated plant expansion capital cost of US$2.5 million. The expansion is expected to provide a considerable boost to our ability to self-fund the Stage 3 Expansion. Operations are also expected to get a considerable boost via the commencement of a new mining front at the Judd Vein System. Long-hole drilling is underway and production stoping is planned to commence this quarter. The proximal location of Judd to much of Kora’s mine-infrastructure, makes for low cost and highly efficient mining and exploration of the system. On exploration, we are now at a major inflection point, where the vast majority of activities will be focused on resource growth, as infill drilling is complete at Kora for its resource update later this year. The resource update due in Q4 will underpin the Stage 3 Expansion Definitive Feasibility Study in the first half of 2022. A majority of underground drill rigs have now commenced drilling at Judd, and we plan to increase this further. On surface, drilling for the first time is underway at Kora South, significantly increasing our ability to step-out along strike. And, drilling at Blue Lake is also progressing and with the backlog of holes to assay and core-log at Kora and Judd almost complete, we expect to provide an update in the near future. On COVID-19, our pandemic resiliency continues to improve. The vaccination roll-out has made considerable progress with over 55% of our workforce having received at least their first dose. As our vaccination uptake increases, we expect to progressively ease other COVID-19 mitigation measures. International travel restrictions have also begun to considerably ease, particularly within parts of Australia, enabling more efficient personnel movement. Importantly, this has enabled access to specialized project contractors, in most cases for the first time since the pandemic began, to provide additional operational support and also commence several highly accretive projects near-term, including the commissioning of the gravity circuit for the Stage 2 Expansion. Lastly, once again, I would like to thank the workforce at the Kainantu Gold Mine. Their dedication and resourcefulness have been extraordinary. The support of the Government of Papua New Guinea and also the Government of Australia continues to be a major factor in our success as well .”   Article Courtesy of K92 Mining Inc.

Mining

PNG Business News - November 08, 2021

Mayur Resources in Talks With Investor About Cement and Lime Project

Mayur Resources is in advanced talks with a large-scale international investor interested in acquiring a stake in its proposed Central Cement and Lime project west of Port Moresby. According to the company's annual report, it followed a 20-year mining lease granted by the government in August. The article said the project has been given special economic zone designation, indicating local government backing and obtaining a variety of benefits such as tax reduction and duty exemptions. “This significantly strengthens the financial outcomes for the project, enabling it to compete with other similar businesses established in special economic zones elsewhere in Asia,” the report said. “With a number of multi-billion-dollar resource and infrastructure projects in the pipeline in PNG, the demand for cement and quicklime is expected to increase dramatically.” The project will be completed in two stages by the firm. Phase one is the quicklime plant, and phase two is the clinker and cement facilities, both of which will be constructed once the quicklime plant is completed, with development expenses covered by cash flow from the first phase. “The procurement strategy for the project has continued with the engineering, procurement and construction scope to include a minimum of two quicklime kilns to take advantage of economies of scale and shared infrastructure. Mayur stated the planned project was a vertically integrated production plant with the capacity to satisfy 100% of PNG's cement, clinker, and quicklime needs, with exports to the Australasian area, substituting Asian imports. The project's co-located quarry, plant site, and deep-draft wharf, located on the coast 25 kilometres north of Port Moresby and seven kilometres from Exxon's PNG LNG facility, would enable very low operating costs while providing direct access to both seaborne domestic and export markets such as Australia and other South Pacific nations.   Reference: Pacific Ming Watch (2 November 2021). “MAYUR Resources in Talks with Investor for PNG Cement Project”.

Mining

PNG Business News - November 08, 2021

Ok Tedi Mining Unit Eager to End Year on A High Note

Following the successful completion of the final and significant mill shutdown, Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) business unit is eager to end the year on a high note. More than 350 workers, contractors, and service providers were affected by the massive closure in September. Isaac Kwetok, deputy general manager of processing, said the business unit's current emphasis was on delivering the amended copper goal of 65,000 tonnes by the end of the year. “We intend to keep the mills running till the end of the year and to exceed the production target so we can pay our dividends and keep this great company operating efficiently,” he said. “This is our biggest mill shut down for this year and it consisted of a number of different activities. “One of these activities was the total plant shutdown in which the two mills were stopped, and inspections were conducted on them before their liners were replaced. “The other major activity was the total plant outage in which the power supply to the plant was suspended to allow both the Tabubil power services and our electrical teams to conduct statutory inspections and also work on the transformers and other electrical equipment which cannot be done when power is on or when the mills are operating.” A key component of the successful shutdown was the incorporation of a Coronavirus (Covid-19) management plan which kept all the workers safe from Covid-19. “With cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant in Tabubil and Kiunga, we had to stringently implement the Covid-19 management plan,” he said. “This meant all our workers had to be tested before the shutdown commenced. We also made sure hand sanitisers and masks were made available to everyone and ensured social distancing was observed during meetings.” “Overall, it was a very good shutdown, in terms of planning right through to execution.”   Reference: Pacific Ming Watch (2 November 2021). “PNG's Ok Tedi Mine’s processing business unit optimistic”.

Mining

PNG Business News - November 08, 2021

National Gold Refinery is a Landmark Project, says Marape

Photo credit: GABRIEL RAMO The National Gold Refinery and Mint Project Agreement marks a watershed moment in the country's history, as well as a crucial step forward in the government's take-back PNG strategy. Prime Minister James Marape made these comments at the recent signing of the agreement at Government House. According to James Marape, the initiative will also help PNG gain recognition as a gold-producing country across the world. The National Gold Refinery project will create a downstream processing and value-adding business for gold, one of the country's most valuable natural resource exports, for the first time. The Prime Minister said that the project will place PNG on the worldwide gold map, allowing it to be recognized as one of the world's most significant gold-producing countries in the gold mining and refining sectors, as well as in global precious metals and financial markets. Marape emphasized that downstream processing of PNG's natural resources, such as gold, fisheries, and forestry, is critical to the country's economic future and job prospects for residents and government officials. This initiative has been considered for many years and will ensure that every gold produced is accounted for and finished goods are shipped to gold corporations and individuals. For the first time, Marape said, all earnings, taxes, new US dollar foreign exchange inflows, employment, and related advantages from gold and precious metals refining will stay in PNG. The State will be a 50:50 joint venture equity partner in this project, with 30% of the State's shareholding going to local alluvial miners and landowner enterprises. Meanwhile, throughout the first 15 years of operation, the project is estimated to produce US 800 million dollars, or roughly K2.7 billion.   Reference: Pacific Mining Watch (1 November 2021). “National Gold Refinery is a Landmark Project, says PNG PM Marape”.

Mining

PNG Business News - November 02, 2021

Marape Announces the Launch of the National Gold Refinery and Mint Project

The National Gold Refinery and Mint Project Deal, signed recently by Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape, is a milestone agreement for the country and a key success in the implementation of his government's "Take Back PNG" program, according to Marape. “The project has started and will establish, for the first time in Papua New Guinea, a downstream processing and value-adding industry for gold, one of the country’s most-valuable natural resource exports,” he said. “The project will put Papua Guinea on the world gold map, so it is rightfully recognised in both gold mining and gold refining industries, and in global precious metals and financial markets, as one of the world’s most-important gold-producing countries.” PM Marape stated that downstream processing of natural resources in PNG, such as gold, forests, and fisheries, is critical to the country's economic future and job creation, and that it is a core priority of his government. “This has been talked about for decades, but it is my leadership peers in present Government who are now pushing for this major in-country downstream processing project,” he said. “It is the first of many to come. “Until now, all the economic and social benefits from refining and value-adding to Papua New Guinea’s gold, have been exported to foreign refineries and for the benefit of foreign countries. “The project will ensure that we account for all gold produced in PNG and export out finished products for companies and individuals who are in the gold industry.” For the first time, all earnings, taxes, new US dollar foreign exchange inflows, employment, and related advantages from gold and precious metals refining will stay in PNG, according to PM Marape. “For the first time, PNG will be recognised on the world stage, including by international refined gold regulatory bodies, such as the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA),” he said. “PNG will become known and recognised as a producer of international standard: gold and precious metal investment bullion bars, gold and precious metal legal tender investment coins; and other refined gold products. The initiative, according to PM Marape, would create four new world-class firms in the state: National Gold Refinery – It will purify all of PNG's gold and precious metals and manufacture gold and silver bullion bars to international standards; National Mint – minting its own currency and the new National Bird of Paradise legal tender coin, as well as investment grade gold and precious metal currency coins; National Gold Bank – to offer the PNG gold mining sector with dedicated gold and precious metal banking and trading services; and National Gold – PNG gold and precious metals, as well as its value-added bullion bars, investment coins, and other goods, will be sold to worldwide investors. “This is a high-end value-adding business and for a gold producing nation, we want to move into this space,” PM Marape said. “No one has dared to dream this dream, but as a Government fighting to earn more from our resources, this low-hanging economic opportunity is now harnessed .” PM Marape stated that the state will be a 50:50 joint venture equity partner in the project from the start, with 30% of the State Interest going to local alluvial miners and landowners. “The State also has the right to buy majority or total control of the project at a time into the future as defined in the project agreement with Refinery Holdings who are partners in this project,” he said. “Refinery Holdings will be the project manager, operator and financier of the project until the State decides to buy control.” PM Marape stated that the National Gold Corporation will pay the full corporation tax rate (currently 30%) on profits from the start. “Refinery Holdings will pay full dividend withholding tax on its dividends received from National Gold Corporation, “ he said. “The project will generate substantial new dividends and corporate taxes paid to the State – currently projected at approximately US$800 million over the first 15 years of operation.” The initiative, according to PM Marape, would produce a lot of employment and possibilities. “Up to 200 new jobs will be created during the construction phase of the refining and minting facilities on land leased within the LNG and Petroleum Park, and at Jackson International Airport,” he said. “There will be up 350 new tertiary level jobs in the operational phase and there will be significant training and skills transfer to local employees for decades to come. “And there will be the creation of many local ancillary industries, including gold tourism facilities, and long-term supply requirements from local contractors and suppliers.” PM Marape stated that the new world-class specialized gold refinery in PNG will assist small-scale, local alluvial gold miners (i.e. landowners). “Landowners can expect to receive better pricing for their gold from the National Gold Refinery and will avoid having to deal with ‘industry middlemen’ or having to accept the discounted gold price offered by middlemen for their gold,” he said. PM Marape stated that fresh and considerable foreign money inflows will boost PNG miners and the economy. “The project and its gold products are priced in US Dollars,” he said. “The National Gold Refinery will have an estimated initial US$4 billion per annum gold throughput, and more as gold production increases, every year for many decades to come. “The PNG gold mining industry will benefit from having a world-class, professionally-managed, gold and precious metals refinery in-country and dedicated to servicing all their refining and gold trading requirements. “A local world-class gold refinery means that the time gap between gold production and sale is significantly reduced as unrefined gold does not need to be shipped from PNG to foreign refineries. “This may mean some PNG mining opportunities will now become economic, and it may increase the profitability of existing mines through a reduction in processing cost. “The project also includes arrangements by which current and future PNG gold miners will transition from foreign gold smelting and refining arrangements to refining of all PNG gold and precious metals through the National Gold Refinery. “The State will provide a statutory guarantee of the gold delivery and related obligations of the National Gold Corporation Group to assure PNG gold miners and international banks, investors and gold industry counterparties that their gold and dealings with the Group are safe and secure at all times. “The National Gold Refinery will, by law, provide globally-competitive refining costs, outcomes and benefits for PNG gold miners now and into the future.” “The project, and the significant long-term foreign investment in the project by the private sector, demonstrates regionally, and internationally, that my Government’s foreign investment policy is effective and that PNG is a mature, stable, and safe investment destination for exploration, mining, and production of gold, and refined gold.” “I look forward to work with the investors, our local SME and alluvial gold miners and landowners, as well as those in the big mines to ensure that this refinery and mint is beneficial to all parties in the mining and gold business.   Reference: Pacific Mining Watch (30 October 2021). “PNG PM Marape announces start of National Gold Refinery & Mint Project”.

Mining

PNG Business News - November 01, 2021

Phase One of Project Proceeding Well: St Barbara

According to St. Barbara's last quarterly report, the company's Simberi facility in New Ireland is doing well with the pre-investment phase of their sulphide project. “The pre-investment phase is advancing well, with initial new fleet purchases completed and the front-end, engineering and design (Feed) study package awarded and on track for delivery in the third quarter of the next financial year,” the company said. “The final investment decision remains a third quarter of next financial year as well. “Concentrate sale and purchase agreements for the majority of the life of mine gold concentrate have been finalised with a number of global trading companies, subject to a satisfying standard conditions precedent of a positive investment decision by the board and the project achieving commercial production.” The Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority is reviewing the social and environmental impact statement, according to the corporation. “The two addendums relating to further trials and testing of waste rock management and the deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) footprint were submitted during the quarter.”   Reference: The National (28 October 2021). “Project phase going well: Firm”. 

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