Tag Archives: Newcrest Mining

Call to focus outside mining on Lihir

The National aka The Loggers Times

A COMMUNITY leader on Lihir Island, in New Ireland, says the leaders should now be focused on sustaining the economy after the mine closes.

polyp_cartoon_Trickle_Down_EconomicsLihir Island hosts one of the world’s largest and richest mining projects in being developed by Newcrest Mining Limited.

Lihir Sustainable Development Programme chairman Ben Misren told Public Enterprises and Investments Minister Ben Micah, Lihir leaders and the business community that the economy experienced on the island would soon be gone.

“The one we are fighting for is the ongoing economy after mine closure,” he said. Misren was speaking during the opening of a new poultry layout facility in Lihir on Monday by Micah.

Present were business project partners Mainland Holdings, suppliers of Niugini Tablebirds.

“Today, you are witnessing one of those projects that (will continue) after the mine closure,” he said.

“We, as Lihirians, should work together to build a non-mining economy that will sustain the livelihood of our people, our children and the future leaders of this island.

“Mining will go tomorrow. What is left then is something that is indicated by one such project.”

Micah paid tribute to Mainland Holdings board chairman William Lamur and Colin Vale of the Anitua Group of Companies “for their sleepless nights” and the thoughts of “ever making it work”.

“It is not easier than what it is now. It was a nightmare. We thought we were gonna go down,” Micah said.

Misren assured the crowd that there were more such projects coming up, including an extension to the piggery to include an abattoir and meat birds for the poultry project.

“Our biggest task as Lihirians is to ensure we control, manage and own these projects.”

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Despite reports Commission has NOT called for end to marine dumping

Despite media reports to the contrary it appears the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission has NOT recommended an end to the controversial practice of dumping toxic mine tailings into the ocean.

As Commission Chairperson, Eric Kwa, makes clear in his interview below on Radio Australia, the Commission was persuaded by the big mining companies, including Rio Tinto, that a ban on marine dumping, as exists in most other countries, was not a good idea…

Call for mine waste law reform in PNG

Radio Australia

Papua New Guinea’s Constitutional and Law Reform Commission has called for an end to the dumping of mine waste in the country’s rivers.

Many of PNG’s biggest mines dump their tailings in nearby river systems, sometimes with devastating environmental consequences, like the widespread contamination of the Fly River by the Ok Tedi mine in Western Province.

The Commission visited five mines and spoke to local communities and mining industry representatives as part of a review of laws covering mine waste disposal.

The Commission’s secretary Dr Eric Kwa says it’s time riverine tailings disposal was brought to an end.

Presenter: Liam Fox

Speaker: Dr Eric Kwa, Constitutional & Law Reform Commission, PNG

KWA: We are asking for a total ban on this method of disposing of waste, so we’re suggesting that the Mining Act be amended to prohibit the disposal of mine tailings into the river system.

FOX: And why did you come to that conclusion, why did the Commission come to that conclusion?

KWA: We came to the conclusion basically on three main fronts. The first one is a lot of the people in Papua New Guinea in the rural areas and particularly next to the mining sites, they live and depend on the river system, and so the rivers are very critical to their livelihood. The second thing is that we looked at the practice around the world, we realise that only Indonesia and Papua New Guinea allow for river iron tailings. The rest of the world has already abandoned this practice and so we needed to keep in line with the international best practice. The third part of it is that communities basically say that they don’t want anymore river iron tailings, so basically the communities themselves, the people themselves have said enough is enough. We have seen the degradation of the river in Fly River, we’ve seen it in Porgera River, and we do not want to see anymore of this happening in PNG.

And so based on those three main reasons we agreed that we should ban river iron tailings.

FOX: That’s riverine and deep sea disposal?

KWA: Ah no, deep sea we did not propose the banning of it, basically because from the current technical advice that we have been given, deep sea tailings is moderately acceptable and given the current geographical and geological situation in Papua New Guinea, that particular option would be more acceptable. And in fact, one of the large mining companies suggested to us that we should ban river iron tailings, but deep sea we could approach it more cautiously and that’s the Rio Tinto. They came up with some very interesting suggestions on handling this particular issue. When we talked to the Chamber, they said we could look at it, we should allow that option to be available, because many parts of the country where mines are being located, the geography and the geological conditions are quite shakier. It is not feasible to do a storage facility in those sites and so maybe the mining, dumping it at sea would be the next best option.

FOX: And so your recommendation wouldn’t affect mines that are currently underway or disposal that’s currently underway, but in future?

KWA: Yes, we are suggesting that this before all future mines. We couldn’t pass the current mining, because of the fact that they already exist under current legal regimes and they all see contracts in place and a lot of money has been spent on developing this method of disposal and so if we take a knife and cut across the whole mining network, then it’s going to really affect the operations of these mining companies and also the economy of the country.

FOX: When you were looking at other systems, other ways of disposing mining waste. What were the other methods that were used beside Riverine disposal and deep sea disposal?

KWA: Well, we were looking at a mine tailings dam, we had the first time now, that’s at the Morobe mine in Morobe Province. They actually built a dam, and they’ve actually they’re still storing the mine waste in the dam, according to our discussions with the mining sector, they said it seems to be stable and they are able to contain the waste.

We’ve also looked at other mine tailings, where you can also with the current technology, you could actually do some cement pastings, like you put in some of chemicals so they would become firm, so you don’t have liquid waste and then there are also other practices where you could actually try and use other chemicals to neutralise the toxicity of the waste that’s coming up from the mining projects.

FOX: And what do you think the reception will be to this recommendation from both the government and the mining industry?

KWA: Ah well, for riverine tailings, we’ve already given the mining industry the opportunity to comment on the report. They are basically in support, maybe subtly, but they have been on our working committee and they fully supported our work and we gave these draft recommendations to them to comment on for two months, so they did look at our recommendations, and they’ve come back supporting our recommendation on this particular aspects of mine tailings. And I can tell you that Liam, over the last couple days, we’ve been getting a lot of commentaries on the Facebook, on email, out in the public. People are very supportive of our recommendations. We are still waiting to, not waiting, but we’re giving the public at least a month and then we will send the report to government, that’s when the government will make response to us.

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MCC, Newcrest and Harmony Gold refuse entry to government appointed Commission


Mines refuse entry to team

Post Courier

AN infight among government agencies resulted in the Constitutional Law Reform Commission being barred access by three mining companies into their sites.

This was made known during a public seminar convened by the commission to present its report on the “Review of environmental and mining laws relating to management and disposal of tailings”.

The commission’s secretary Eric Kwa said the working committee had planned on visiting a total of five mines.

However, they were refused entry by the operators at Hidden Valley in Morobe, Lihir in New Ireland and Ramu Nickel project in Madang. They were allowed in at Ok Tedi, Western Province, and Porgera in Enga Province.

Mr Kwa said the incident stemmed from an alleged infighting which arose during the course of the exercise with a department (named), whom he stated had accused the commission to be hijacking their roles and function.

“We flew into Hidden Valley and when we arrived at the gate we were told that they had decided not to let us in. This is a government department trying to review the law. Who on earth has the right to stop the government from entering a mining site.

“We flew to Madang and to Lihir only to be told the same thing. Why? We only went there because we wanted to know how the law is being applied, so that we could frame them in a manner that would be good for our people.

“We had gone there because the people had spoken and because the government has listened and given us clear directions,” he said.

Mr Kwa stressed the entity to be mandated by the government to review all laws.

He said the team had not gone with the intent to criticise the existing mines about their operations.




Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Constitutional Commission calls for ban on river and marine waste dumping



The Constitutional and Law Reform Commission is pushing for a ban on deep sea and river tailings placement in Papua New Guinea.

These two proposals were amongst the 19 recommendations that have been drafted and will be presented to the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, for perusal and cabinet approval.

Professionals from various government departments and the private sector attended a public seminar at the Hideaway Hotel in Port Moresby, to make final commendations before presenting it to the minister.

There are a total of eight mines in PNG. three of these are purely gold mines, three gold and silver mines, one copper and gold and one nickel and copper.

These facts make our country one of the world’s resource rich nations, and pumps about three quarters of revenue into the country’s economy.

However, the issue on management of mine tailings disposal is said to have been overlooked over the years by government, developers and stakeholders, causing a national threat on the health of future generations, particularly on populations in the special mining lease areas.

Today’s seminar discussed the Constitutional Law and Reform Commission’s 19 recommendations to review the Environment and Mining laws relating to management and disposal of mine tailings.

Amongst solutions was the ban of deep sea and river mine waste disposals by mines in PNG.

These recommendations have been drafted by the working committee made up of members from the Mineral Resource Authority, Departments of Mineral Policy and Geohazards management, environment and conservation, health, mines and petroleum, environment, research and development and the University of Papua New Guinea.

They strongly recommended that the national government seriously look at the health and social impacts of mine waste disposal, rather than concentrating more on revenue generation.

However, other experts present at the seminar this morning said otherwise.

The working committee found many flaws in the environment and mining laws relating to mine waste disposal.

One of them was the absence of a health impact assessment.

Similar to the environment impact assessment, the committee suggested that an independent body be established to oversee health and social impact assessments in all mine sites.

The recommendations are more administrative, and concentrated more on the environment, health and social impacts.

The Reform Commission said it may be too late to apply these recommendations on existing mines, but it is important that they be considered for future prospects.


Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Commission wants river dumping of mine tailings banned

Kwa: Ban disposal method

Rosalyn Albaniel | Post Courier

ONE of 19 recommendations that will be put to the government in a report by the Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC) is the total banning of riverine tailings disposal.

This was revealed by the secretary of the commission Eric Kwa (pictured) during a public seminar held in Port Moresby yesterday.

The purpose of the seminar, which was attended by a wide range of stakeholders, was to allow the commission to present its findings and recommendations of the draft report it conducted on the terms of reference 6 (TOR) issued by the national Government in 2007 following the Angabanga experiences.

Mr Kwa said based on the wide consultation that it had held on its “Review of the environmental and mining laws relating to management and disposal of tailings”, it would be recommending that amendments be made to the Mining Act of 1992 for a total ban of the riverine tailings disposal method. This will not affect existing mines but those that will come on line in the future.

Mr Kwa said this recommendation was being made for a number of reasons, including that rivers are something many depend on for their livelihood.

According to the report just concluded by the commission, PNG currently employs three tailings methods, riverine tailings disposal (RTD); deep sea tailings disposal (DSTP) and tailings storage facility (TSF).

Its states that the riverine system is highly criticised internationally and nationally and that the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) has acknowledged that it is a method that is not encouraged for future mines in PNG.

Bougainville Copper Limited had, in its submission to the commission, stated “Rio Tinto avoids implementing RTD in new operations and projects and recommends that all tailing management options should be available for consideration and assessment for new projects. However, riverine and shallow marine tailings disposals are unlikely to be acceptable for new projects”.

The report states that Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) has also informed the commission that under the Ok Tedi Mine legislation, it submits an environmental report to MRA on September 30 of every year and this report is forwarded to the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Mr Kwa said many of the recommendations were “administrative”.

He said the report is now out and the commission is giving all stakeholders a month for their final input before the final report is compiled and given to the Government.

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Australia’s Newcrest says expects impairment of up to A$2.5 bln

Australia’s Newcrest Mining Ltd warned on Thursday it expects to take post-tax impairments of up A$2.5 billion ($2.36 billion) in fiscal 2014 related to its flagship Lihir gold mine in Papua New Guinea and other mines in Australia and Ivory Coast.

Although an impairment has no impact on cash flow, a reduction in book values in the range of A$1.5 billion to A$2.5 billion is estimated to adversely impact gearing by between three and five percent, Newcrest said.

The latest impairment is in addition to the A$47 million ($44.35 million) after-tax impairment of west African exploration assets included in Newcrest’s first-half results.

Newcrest is scheduled to release its 2014 financial results on Aug. 18.

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Proposed Wafi-Golpu mine faces uncertain future

Harmony lays ground for ‘rapid change’

Allan Seccombe | miningmx

THE climb-down in the gold price during 2013 has had many consequences. For the likes of Harmony Gold, it has led to an adjustment in its capital planning which most strikingly affects its Papua New Guinea project, Golpu, a copper and gold deposit it shares with Australian company Newcrest Mining.

Gone is the big-bang approach to mine development in favour of a cautious, modular approach. Capital is applied in dabs rather than with a broad-brush because since the beginning of 2013, when the gold price began its precipitous $300/oz decline, it became harder to generate cash.

A consequence of the lower gold price is that the structure of gold producing companies has changed. First there were multi-billion dollar write-downs, followed by active management of non-core assets – a development driven by shareholders to a large extent. Consolidation, deconsolidation, corporate activity of all types is now being contemplated by the world’s gold producers.

That’s why Harmony is on its toes.

Its CEO, Graham Briggs, has generally avoided the question of growth by acquisition. Now, however, he is talking about opportunities that may be posed by structural industry change.

“We’ve got a fantastic copper project but investors won’t let us build that project. It will cost too much and they worry about it. Some of these things have to wait for the right investment time,” Briggs said.

Details of the revised study into Golpu, will be published in August. The Wafi portion of the project (it was originally called Wafi-Golpu) has difficult metallurgy and needs further work.

The question management and the board will grapple with in coming months is whether the Papua New Guinea project remains within Harmony or if it is spun out.

“The view is that resources go through lean years but they have excellent years as well and you need to capitalise on those years. Even in a declining commodity price environment shareholders are very demanding and that means companies will change,” Briggs said.

“Harmony has an asset in Papua New Guinea that potentially gives it big growth. How does Harmony evolve out of that? Does it evolve into two separate companies or does it stay as one company?” Briggs said.

“I can see some dramatic changes happening in the whole global gold industry and those, by nature, will affect us,” he said.

Golpu spun out?

The change in CEO at Newcrest may materialise into a revised investment strategy for that company. It may, for instance, weigh the prospect of spinning out Golpu in order to focus on cash returns from the operating assets.

Merger discussions between Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining, two of the world’s largest gold companies could result in assets being cast off into separately-listed entities as they too seek new focus.

In the case of the North Americans, it would be focus on geographical areas, with a desire to having assets in the North and South American time zones.

“There’s going to be more shareholder activism which will drive better returns for shareholders, but it will create companies with specific issues,” Briggs said.

AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Harmony all grew their international footprints by using their South African mines to fund overseas purchases and growth.

Gold Fields spun out its cash-generating South African mines to create Sibanye Gold, which is carving a niche for itself as a strong dividend payer.

“So now, a company that has growth projects and dividend paying assets may suddenly start splitting in two because there may be investors who have different time horizons,” Briggs said.

“There’s a more selective philosophy from a shareholder perspective where they’ll not just invest in gold but they’ll invest in gold with a specific profile. That’s how I see things evolving and I don’t know where Harmony will be in that,” he said.

Harmony’s executives are visiting bankers to get their views of what the global gold mining industry is doing and how its being driven and evolving.

“We have to interpret this thing to see where Harmony is going,” he said. “You’ll have different money looking for different scenarios.”

“This is a period of rapid change. There will be rapid decisions to be made and we must be prepared for whatever happens,” Briggs said.

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Newcrest says mining on track


PNG Loop

Newcrest Mining Ltd is on track to deliver full year gold production around the top end of the guidance range following production of 551,590 ounces of gold and 21,012 tonnes of copper for the March 2014 quarter with the All-In Sustaining Cost (AISC) of sales being A$988 per ounce (K2236 per ounce).

Gold production for the quarter was 11% lower than the previous quarter, primarily due to lower mill throughput associated with increased maintenance activity, which included a conveyor belt replacement at Ridgeway, a shutdown to complete the Cadia East west crusher tie-in and processing plant maintenance at Lihir.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Greg Robinson, said: “Newcrest continues to maintain a sharp focus on cost reduction initiatives across the entire business. Our year-to-date All-In Sustaining Cost of A$998 per ounce is A$285(K645) per ounce lower than last financial year which has enabled us to expand our All-In Sustaining Cost operating margin to A$462 per ounce this quarter despite the lower gold price environment.”

He said exploration activities continued during the March 2014 quarter with positive drilling results at Wafi-Golpu and Gosowong.

During this second quarter, the Company announced that it had completed arrangements to extend the tenor of its existing bilateral bank loan facilities providing a smoother and longer average maturity profile with no material change to terms and conditions and no increase in interest cost.

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Fiji: Police probe mine site rape case

Mere Naleba | The Fiji Times

A THREE-member police team visited the Namosi Joint Venture mining site yesterday afternoon to investigate reports of an alleged rape and assault case in the area.

Deputy Police commander southern SSP Selesitino Babakoro said in an interview that a team from Navua left the Navua Police Station around mid-day to tend to a verbal report after receiving a briefing on the alleged assault and rape case.

SSP Babakoro said he could not release any further information as yet because they were yet to receive the report from the investigation team.

“A team from Navua has gone up to Namosi. Once they return, I will be able to confirm and release more information,” he said.

The team that visited the NJV site comprised a crime officer, the Navua station officer and a female corporal based at the Navua Police Station.

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New Ireland cheated by Lihir mine: Chan

Chan: Probe mine

Zonya Goasa | The National aka The Loggers Times

NEW Ireland’s Governor and former Prime Minister Julius Chan is calling for a full audit of the operations at the Lihir Gold Mine.

The mine began production in 1997 and was taken over by Newcrest Mining in 2010.

Sir Julias said the mine was the third largest gold mine in the world since 1997, but the people of New Ireland did not benefit from any projects.

“Something is just not right,” Chan said. “The audit should include the calculation of tax credit scheme at 2% of assessable income prior to 2001.”

He said the province had been cheated out of tax credit scheme income for fifteen years.

“One of the benefits provinces are supposed to receive is projects funded under the tax credit scheme,” he said.

“The national monitors – MRA, the Mining Department and the company are at fault for neglecting the people’s interest.

“As the project impacted area, they should have received tax credits of K10 million to K20 million every year but not even a toea was received.

“Their delays had cost New Ireland K50 million in tax credits from 2010 and 2011 because they could not prepare tender documents and issue contracts on time.

“New Irelands has become victims and should be given what they were promised once the audit is done.”

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