Existing Mines Will Be Impacted, Says Chamber Vice President
Existing mining companies operating in PNG will be impacted when the State reviews the Mining Act 1992.
PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum senior vice president Anthony Smare says the amendments will pose significant deterrents for investment in future mining projects and will be a serious impediment to the operation of current mines in PNG.
Mr Smare was addressing the media and relevant stakeholders in a briefing yesterday in Port Moresby organised by the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.
He said domestically mining used to be very strong in the 70s and 80s when PNG had all the major operators in the country until the 90s when the industry started collapsing slowly due to the Bougainville crisis amongst others.
“There was a real change when the government changed in August 2002 and they brought in real changes to legislation to removing things like the profit tax and so many fiscal barriers that made us unattractive to big countries and then we started to see more interest in the sector. The industry does not oppose the changes.
We think that it is really good and it is about time we start reviewing our Act to adapt to the challenges that we face and to the needs of the country,” he said.
“But any change has to be fact based, it has to be based on consultation and it has to be modeled not just in the interest of the existing projects, but it’s going to have an impact on the projects that are going to come through but it also has to be modeled on all the work that we need an exploration.
We need people to bring in money to explore on what other assets we have. That’s the challenge with this legislation,” Mr Smare said.
Meanwhile, according to the chamber’s information booklet, the most significant issues in the current draft mining act the industry is concerned about includes increased tenure risks for mining companies, inadequate transitional arrangements to protect existing operations and increased costs to business which will impact investor interest.