Institute of Geoscientists PNG says Mining and Gas Bills kill Exploration Activities
The recent passing of the Mining Amendment Bill 2020 and Oil and Gas (Amendment) Bill 2020 by the Papua New Guinea Government will kill exploration activities in the country, according to an organisation.
The Institute of Geoscientists PNG, said the amendments passed by Parliament in the recent sitting were also bad for foreign investment.
The organisation is led by the University of PNG academics and made up of experts with experience in the industry and academia.
The institute, in a statement, believes that the Government had been ill-advised.
“The country will not realise this now. But over time, foreign investment will dwindle and the much-needed foreign dollar will dry up leaving not much for international trade,” it said.
“To say the least, these amendments are flawed. And the institute strongly believes that these should be shelved or relooked at with proper consultations with the wider community and industry specialists.
“PNG has a favourable geological setting for mining and mineral exploration but the political, legislative and sovereign risks are at a level where it has become too risky for investors who seek continuous long-term investments.
“Each country in the world is competing for mining and exploration investment capital where investors seek jurisdictions that allow them to gain favourable or fair returns on their investment.
“The amendments to the mining act will be viewed by foreign investors as unfair as the risk of losing one’s investment is increased with the amendments to Section 2, 3, and 7 of the Mining act 1992.”
On the Oil and Gas (Amendment) Bill 2020, the institute said under the new sections 56A, 56B and 56C, “the Minister is given unprecedented powers to approve, cancel, sign-off, on applications, renewals or development proposals”.