Chamber: Mining Law Changes Will Be Felt
The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum is warning of wider impacts to business and communities in the country is a range of changes to the Mining Act go ahead.
Impacts it says will deter investment in long-term mining projects and jeopardise the future success of PNG’s small businesses and citizens.
According to the 2019 World Bank Papua New Guinea Economic Update, one of the major risks to PNG’s projected economic growth is delays or impediments to future large-scale resources projects.
As it stands today, mining projects across PNG deliver millions of kina in taxes and royalties, create thousands of jobs and deliver major infrastructure support to rural communities.
PNG’s existing mining laws have been critical in maintaining a world-class mining sector and attracting investment in PNG.
Stable and supportive mining regulations have made the industry internationally competitive and allowed it to finance a range of valuable initiatives in project areas.
An example of this is the presence of Harmony Gold Mining who have contributed more than K5 billion to the Morobe Province and national economy over the last 10 years through wages, procurement, royalties and taxes.
The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum stated that the government must ensure that any changes to the revised Mining Act that is planned to be tabled in the current sitting of Parliament, must not scare and chase away mining companies and other international investors.
“When investment dries up, new mining projects will disappear taking with them millions of kina that would have been invested in schools, local businesses and health programs, which are investments projects have been making to most of the country’s rural areas,” the chamber stated.
In order to continue this important work, the industry requires legislation that strikes a balance between national and investor interests.
Mining companies will look to make future investment in countries with competitive and predictable mining regulations.
While the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum supports the PNG government’s prerogative to update the legislation to meet the challenges of the 21st century, it believes an independent review of the amendments must be undertaken to fully gauge the economic implications of the revised Mining Act on the economy of PNG.
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