Mining Authority Expects A Busy 2020
Mineral Resources Authority will be working hard this year to see that several mineral projects on the radar get their mining leases if approved.
Managing director Jerry Garry told the Post-Courier that there were many unfinished work from 2019 and one if which is the construction compliance work on Woodlark in Milne Bay Province.
Mr Garry said the small-medium scale hardrock mining project on Woodlark Island has startedd preparatory works for mine construction in December 2019.
However, he said the MRA was not notified in advance, and has summoned the developer for a meeting early this month to submit detailed engineering designs, before approval can be granted for construction.
“Hopefully, this can be achieved quickly, paving way for the construction of a brand new mine in PNG in the first quarter of 2020,” he said.
Meanwhile the Special Mining Lease application for the Frieda River Project is being progressed and may be permitted in quarter three or four this year.
Mr Garry said given the complexity of the proposed business structure and the integrated storage dam facility, the MRA, Treasury, and CEPA technical teams will require external experts to support the State Team.
He said SMEC has been contracted to review the integrity and durability of the integrated storage dam facility.
“The State is mindful, given the area is prone to active seismicity and high rainfall; dam failure is highly probable and likely to cause inevitable catastrophic consequences on livelihoods and environment.
Furthermore, unlike, other remote mining projects, whereby all infrastructures are managed by the mining operator, the proponents for Frieda is planning to divide the projects into 4 different business entities, (hydropower generation, power reticulation, infrastructure, and mining)," he said.
He said how these different entities, can be managed cohesively to serve the mine operation remains a concern.
Mr Garry said another company who also applied for a mining lease to quarry limestone was Mayur Resources for its lime and clinker for Portland (Kido) cement processing plants near Port Moresby.
He said this application is being processed by the MRA, and hopefully, a determination by the Council could be made in during the first quarter of this year.
“Once permitted and developed, will become the first clinker and cement products derived from local materials in PNG,” Mr Garry said.
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