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Stakeholders Discuss the Woodlark Mining Project



Stakeholders such as the state, project developer Geopacific Resources Ltd, Dal Wanuwan Woodlark Lease Association Inc (landowners), Murua LLG and the Milne Bay government arrived in Alotau to discuss the K420 million Woodlark mining project and the memorandum of the agreement negotiated in 2015. The project has a 13-year mine-life with one million ounces of gold reserves, three defined gold deposits, and 1.6 million ounces in gold resources.

Part of the discussions included a tax credit scheme, infrastructure, land issues and royalties, business development plan, training and employment, and mine closure.

According to Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) managing director Jerry Garry, the State team zeroed in achieving a win-win situation for all stakeholders, especially the landowners. He added that this was in line with the agenda of the government to empower resources owners and others by guaranteeing that they get maximum rewards from their resources.

Garry added that the government - led by the Commerce and Industry Department - had come up with concrete plans to make sure that developers engage businesses and landowners in business pin offs, starting with the construction of projects. The plan gets underway when the National Executive Council approves it.

According to Garry, the developer opens up business opportunities when the project starts - which was five to six years of missed business opportunities and million of Kina for landowners.

Chief Executive Tim Richards represented Geopacific Resources Ltd in the meeting who said that the firm was looking forward to many opportunities but at the same time the challenge lies with the stakeholders who are set to implement the agreement.

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