Coal Mineral Explorer says, Coal has bright future in PNG

coal-mining

Leanne Jorari | EMTV News | 5 December 2016

There is ongoing debate about Coal mining in PNG, its use as a source of energy, and the effects the fossil fuel’s use on the environment.

Studies have revealed that there is enough high quality coal in the Gulf Province, to run a 50-megawatt power station for 30 years,but the question begs: at what cost is coal usage?

There is an obvious absence of a local coal mining industry in the country however this may soon change. Mineral explorer, Mayur Resources, believes coal has a bright future in the country and could help to alleviate power shortages if the resource is tapped into and developed.

However, there have been polarising debates about the development of this particular fossil fuel, especially concerning environmental implications.

Industry expert, Peter McCabe, weighed in on the topic; stating that if it is mined well and in an environmentally friendly way, an area can be mined and later, the land can be restored.

However the burning of coal has been found to emit harmful emissions such as carbon dioxide and sulfur [sic] dioxide and strong regulation is vital. The move may also contravene PNG’s pact as a signee to international Climate Change mitigation agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.

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O’Neill government breaks promise to amend Mining Act

mining-projects-2015
The O’Neill government has submitted to the demands of the foreign owned mining industry and is breaking its promise to amend the Mining Act and ensure a fairer deal for landholders and Provincial governments. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill made the announcement at the PNG Mining Party in Sydney:

“I want to state categorically that there will be no changes to the Mining Act prior to the 2017 National Election,” PM O’Neill said.

Foreign owned mining companies have been lobbying the government hard not too make any changes to the law – and they have succeeded!

See also:  Foreign mining companies ‘very concerned’ about changes to Mining Act

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Mayur company optimistic about coal power

Mayur Power 1

Frankiy Kapin | Post Courier | November 30,2016

MAYUR Resources power generation company from Australia is very optimistic in delivering the country’s first coal fired power station in Lae says managing director Paul Mulder.

Mr Mulder said on Monday in Lae the company has submitted a power purchasing agreement (PPA) to PNG Power Limited and is awaiting approval of the project year marked for 2019.

Mayur Resources is proposing to employ multi fuel clean coal technology and not a standard coal fired power station to supply 50 Megawatts (MW) of electricity to Lae city in the Morobe province.

He said Mayur will mine 250,000-350,000 tons of coal per annum from the Gulf Province and ship it to Lae for its power plant.

Mr Mulder said in perspective, China mines 3.6 billion tons of coal annually and Indonesia 3 million tons annually for their power stations.

He said Mayur was ready to deliver the cheapest, most reliable and environmentally friendly power supply that will improve the standards of living for customers.

Mr Mulder was accompanied by retired Australian Kangaroos captain and National Rugby League (NRL) icon Darren Lockyer who is also a shareholder of Mayur Resources to the University of Technology in Lae for an open forum attended by the Lae Chamber of Commerce, the Unitech senior management including Chancellor Sir Nagora Bogan and Vice Chancellor Albert Schram. The Morobe Provincial Government was invited but no representative turned up at the forum.

Mr Mulder said PNG is one third of the global population apart from its surrounding regions in the Asia Pacific who can utilise clean coal energy to alleviate poverty.

He said the quality of coal in PNG is far better than in Australia as well Mayur believes the company can meet all the commitments of Kyoto and COP21 arrangements to reduce greenhouse emissions and other pollutions. And as well significantly reduce the price of electricity.

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Environmentalists Tie Trump’s Hands on Deep-Sea Mining

Photo: Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Photo: Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images

A federal court settlement requires the government to assess the impact of strip-mining the ocean floor before issuing exploration permits to companies.

David Kirby | Take Part | 1 December 2016

Donald Trump is still seven weeks away from taking office, but when it comes to permitting the controversial practice of deep-sea mining, the incoming administration’s hands are already tied.

On Wednesday, the Center for Biological Diversity announced it has settled a federal court lawsuit against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in a move that will compel federal officials to conduct in-depth assessments of the risks to wildlife and underwater ecosystems before issuing permits for the exploration of the ocean floor for rare-earth metals and minerals.

The settlement’s terms will be binding on the Trump Administration, said Emily Jeffers, an attorney for the environmental group. Trump’s campaign website does not mention deep-sea mining, although it does call for opening offshore leasing and eliminating all “wasteful and unnecessary regulation.”

“He wants to ramp up coal production and is not concerned about the impact of strip mining and mountaintop removal, so it makes me think he wouldn’t be afraid to strip-mine the ocean floor,” Jeffers said of the president elect.

The Trump transition team and NOAA did not respond to requests for comment.

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the federal government in 2015 over its extension of two exploratory permits for a Lockheed Martin subsidiary that wants to conduct deep-sea mining in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, halfway between Mexico and Hawaii.

NOAA extended those permits without conducting the necessary environmental assessments required by federal law, the lawsuit alleged.

Deep-sea mining is still in the development phase worldwide, and no country or company has yet mined the ocean floor for the estimated billions of dollars’ worth of gold, nickel, copper, cobalt, manganese, zinc, and other rare-earth metals and minerals resting up to a mile under the sea.

Improved extraction technologies and skyrocketing prices for these materials, fueled by the consumer electronics boom, have made seafloor mining increasingly attractive. Mining companies around the world now have exploration licenses on more than 930,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean floor.

But many scientists warn that deep-sea mining, and even exploration for potential sites, can damage marine ecosystems.

“A close analogy to deep sea mining, strip mining on land, has had many ill effects on wildlife and human health,” the lawsuit states. “Similarly, deep seabed mineral mining could disrupt marine communities throughout the ocean.”

“Because of the novelty of deep seabed mining and the potentially severe environmental effects, diligence in analyzing and processing licenses and permits is especially critical,” it continues.

Deep-sea mining scrapes minerals off the seafloor “like a bulldozer, which destroys seabed habitat,” the environmental group’s attorneys wrote. Mining machinery emits noise that can disturb or even harm marine mammals and churns up sediment plumes that smother seafloor organisms and release nutrients that produce toxic algae blooms. Waste released in the process can cloud water and reduce photosynthesis and productivity, and toxic heavy metals in sediment plumes readily enter the food chain.

Light and noise from mining ships, meanwhile, “can disrupt seabird behavior and result in exhaustion or death, and vessel collisions risk harming whales and other marine mammals,” the lawsuit says.

According to the settlement, NOAA agreed to “conduct an environmental analysis…if and when NOAA authorizes Lockheed Martin to conduct at-sea, phase II, exploration activities.”

The company is still in its first phase, which is limited to onshore analyses of seafloor data and global commodity prices.

“We wanted to make sure that any activities at sea required a thorough environmental review, and we weren’t clear that actually was going to happen,” Jeffers said.

Seafloor exploration has many of the same problems as actual mining, she said. “Exploration has a lesser degree of damage that would result from extraction. But they do have to take samples and disrupt the sediment.”

“I think it’s a good first step,” Jeffers said of the settlement. “Deep-sea mining is going to be, in the next 10 to 20 years, a very significant issue with serious environmental ramifications, and I think we need to start thinking now about whether we want to allow this type of activity to happen.”

“At the very least,” she added, “we need to ensure we do adequate environmental review so we know the type of damage that will result from strip-mining the ocean floor.”

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Who is illegally dredging for gold on Bougainville?

Illegal gold dredging on the Jaba river might not be Chinese owned, as claimed in the media

Illegal gold dredging on the Jaba river might not be Chinese owned, as claimed in the media

PNGExposed | 1 December 2016

Recent media reports say a Chinese company, Jaba Joint Development, is illegally dredging for gold on the Jaba river in Bougainville.

It is claimed Jaba Joint Development was allowed into the Panguna area by the Autonomous Bougainville Government and its suspect Commerce Minister, Fidelis Semoso, originally to make bricks, but has now set up a substantial gold dredging operation.

Bougainville News has quoted local landowners as saying Jaba Joint Development is 95% Chinese owned with a small minority interest held by ‘certain landowners’ and the ABG.

Official company records, however, show a rather different ownership picture involving New Zealander, Liqun Pan, Bougainville local, Chris Dendai and links to Hong Kong, Australia and the British Virgin Islands as well as property in both Cairns and Auckland.

liqun-pan-relationships

Jaba Joint Development Limited was registered with the Investment Promotion Authority in Port Moresby, in November 2014.

According to IPA records, the company is owned by two individuals, Chris Dendai and Liqun Pan, a New Zealand citizen. They are also the company directors. Dendai and Pan each holds 50% of the shares in Jaba Joint Development.

Interestingly, although the IPA shows Dendai and Pan as the shareholders of Jaba Joint Development, in the original application to register the company two different shareholders were proposed: Tumpusiong Resources Limited and a Hong Kong registered, Chinese company, Timesview Resources Development Limited.

Tumpusiong Resource Limited is a PNG registered company with 14 men listed as shareholders, including Chris Dendai, all from Darenai village in the Panguna region of Bougainville. According to its filed annual returns, Tumpusiong is a company that is involved in brick making.

Timesview Resources was registered in Hong Kong on 26 November 2014, the same date as the application to register Jaba Joint Development in PNG was made. Timesview Resources was deregistered in Hong Kong in August 2016.

Timesview Resources was majority owned by Timesview International Group, which has Liqun Pan listed as a minority shareholder. The largest shareholder in TIG is Chuen Hing Petroleum & Chemicals Holdings Limited – a company registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Documents filed with the IPA in Port Moresby do not show how or when the ownership of Jaba Joint Development was switched from Tumpusiong Resources and Timesview Resources Development to Chris Dendai and Liqun Pan, which prompts the question whether the people of Darenai village are aware of the switch?

Liqun Pan, who remember holds half the shares in Jaba Joint Development, has a registered address at 4 Bramley Drive, Farm Cove in the south Auckland suburb of Manakau and is also the owner of two New Zealand registered companies; Niae Trustee, with Li Hui, and Cypco Biotechnology.

No.4 Bramley Drive, he address in Auckland Liqun Pan uses for his NZ registered companies

No.4 Bramley Drive, the address in Auckland Liqun Pan uses for his NZ registered companies

Liqun Pan and Li Hui also own the Australian registered company Niae Pty Limited and together own a home in Cairns, North Queensland. No. 4 Finchley Close in the suburb of Redlynch was purchased by Pan and Hui in May 2013 for $570,000.

No.4 Finchley Close, the home Liqun Pan and Li Hui own in Cairns

No.4 Finchley Close, the home Liqun Pan and Li Hui own in Cairns

Liqun Pan and Li Hui are also connected through their joint ownership of Inae Limited, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. That connection is revealed in the ‘Panama Papers’ leaked from the now infamous law firm Mossack Fonseca…

inae-limited

Can anyone explain how Liqun Pan and Chris Dendai ended up running an allegedly illegal gold dredging operation on the Jaba river?

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“Simberi mine improving” – but for who?

simberi

St Barbara can boast that its Simberi mine “is improving” – but what does that mean and who is reaping the benefits?

Improved production levels and cash earnings are great for foreign shareholders and the Chairman’s fat annual bonus – but does that mean anything for local people, forced to look on as spectators on their own land without decent government services and a ruined environment?

Simberi mine improving: Chairman
Gedion Timothy | The National aka The Loggers Times | December 1 2016
ST Barbara’s Simberi gold mine in New Ireland has seen continued improvement this year, justifying the company’s decision to preserve with what was an under-performing asset in 2014, says chairman Tim Netscher.
Netscher told the company’s annual general meeting in Melbourne, Australia that Simberi “is now demonstrably confirmed as a reliable earner of cash, exceeding its target production rate of 100,000 ounces per annum for six consecutive quarters”.
“With the sensible use of hedging, we have ensured that Simberi will stay cash-positive regardless of gold price conditions for the remainder of this financial year,” Netscher said.
“During the year, we determined that we should conduct a strategic review of our PNG assets, considering the commercial opportunities available from divestment or joint venture or retaining both the operating and extensive exploration assets of Simberi.
“This review has been completed and we announced the results earlier this month.
“The results are:

  • That we will retain Simberi as an operating asset, and all gold oxide and sulphide exploration opportunities in the Tabar Island group;
  • That we will joint-venture with Newcrest the exploration of copper-gold porphyry prospects on Tatau and Tabar Islands;
  • That we will not, based on the existing reserves, resources and feasibility study, invest in sulphide mining and processing on Simberi at this time but will continue with studies of opportunities to improve the economics of this project.

Simberi is the northern most island in the Tabar group of islands in New Ireland.

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Exxon denials of complicity in police abuses should not fool anyone

lng-project-hela

LNG Project facility, Hela Province, Papua New Guinea Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Exxon-Mobil is trying to deny complicity in the mass burning of innocent villager’s homes by police units protecting its facilities, claiming it is not at fault as it does not ‘pay’ the police their salaries.

But Exxon’s denials are not fooling Radio New Zealand [see story below] who broke the initial story of human rights abuses, and they shouldn’t fool anyone else either.

While Exxon may be correct to claim they don’t “hire” or “employ” the police, their website makes clear they do provide  “transport, fuel, lodging and stipends for the police away from their normal work locations”.

So according to Exxon it is okay for the company to provide what are effectively a bunch of thugs with expensive four-wheel drive vehicles, provide them with fuel to drive around, give them accommodation in company beds and give them cash – “stipends” – while denying any responsibility for the human rights abuses they commit!

Exxon also claims on its PNG LNG website, “we have an important role to play in promoting respect for human rights, violations are not acceptable and should not be condoned”.

If this statement is genuine then Exxon should condemn the police abuses and withdraw their support to anyone accused of violations until there has been a full, independent investigation.

Exxon must stop providing transport, accommodation and cash to those responsible for human rights violations!!!

Exxon denies claim about hiring PNG police

Radio New Zealand | 30 November 2016

The multi-national oil and gas company running Papua New Guinea’s LNG project denies a suggestion that it hires police to guard its operations.

This suggestion resurfaced this week with comments from Hela province where the project’s main gas fields are located, following a deadly ambush on an MP’s convoy.

The ambush in Komo last week was related to a tribal conflict and not the LNG project, according to police.

However a suggestion by a local field worker that an alleged reprisal was carried out by police who are hired by the project to provide security for its operations has been firmly denied by ExxonMobil PNG.

LNG Project facility, Central Province, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

LNG Project facility, Central Province, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Exxon says it plays no role in the conduct of police operations, and nor does it “hire” police or employ “LNG security police”.

Several years ago, Exxon and its fellow operators of the LNG project signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary which established interaction in relation to security for the project.

According to the LNG Project website, “the MOU plays an important role in establishing clear expectations as well as providing a solid foundation for the delivery of effective policing at our worksites”.

The project operators can “offer support such as transport, fuel, lodging and stipends for the police away from their normal work locations”.

Meanwhile, Exxon says it is continuing to monitor the situation after the ambush in Komo in which two people died.

“The safety of our staff and the community is our first priority,” said an Exxon spokesperson, adding that the events of last week had no material impact on PNG LNG operations.

png-lng-security

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