Chan flatters the mining industry and deceives the people of PNG

Byran Chan

Mining Minister Byron Chan is eager to praise foreign owned mines in PNG for increasing their production and revenues in 2016 – see story below. But what benefit are increased production and increased company revenues to the people of PNG?

What Chan should be talking about but does NOT mention is the government’s revenues from taxation and the landholders benefits. Have government revenues and benefits from Lihir increased by 38% this year to match the increased production and company revenue? Have government revenues and benefits from Hidden Valley increased by 33%? From Simberi by 20% and Porgera by 17%?

Looks like Chan is trying to fool the people of PNG into thinking increased production and revenues are good for them when in fact most of those benefits accrue to foreign shareholders and company executives – not landholders or the the PNG government.

Chan also tries to deceive by declaring “mineral exports will contribute just over K9 billion for 2016”. Sounds great doesn’t it, but why is Chan being so vague – will contribute K9 billion to what? Not government revenues, not landholder benefits but K9 billion to mining company revenues!

Production is up, revenues are up – but so what Mr Chan? Why aren’t you talking about government revenues and landholder benefits? That is what matters to the people of PNG, the people you are supposed to represent and be fighting for as an MP and Minister?

Sounds like Byron Chan is the Minister for Foreign Mining Profits…

Chan praises mines with increasing production
The National aka The Loggers Times | December 7, 2016
MINING Minister Byron Chan says several key mines in the country have shown increasing production and revenue this year.
“They are Lihir, our largest producer, projected to be up a whopping 38 per cent on revenue against 2015, Porgera (17 per cent), Ok Tedi (36 per cent) – an impressive recovery from their closure, Hidden Valley (33 per cent) and Simberi (20 per cent),” Chan said.
“Unless there are further commodity price falls in our key minerals of gold, silver, copper, nickel and cobalt, this level of production and revenue is expected to continue to rise over the next few years.”
He said this was cushioned by the smaller mines such as Kainantu and Tolukuma, which were resuming commercial production in 2017.
In addition, Crater Mountain and Eddie Creek is expected to increase gold production.
“With this growth profile, we project that mineral exports will contribute just over K9 billion for 2016,” he said.
“The number of world class operating mines and advanced projects in Papua New Guinea will undoubtedly attract investors, and open up new business opportunities, both locally for the country as a whole, but especially in mining provinces.
“Provinces such as East and West Sepik, and even Morobe, which have not had a major resource project, will experience an increase in business activities. Planning by provincial and local level governments in relation to these mines is crucial to make the most out of the growth opportunities.

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Industry celebrates as O’Neill caves in on mining reform

o-neill-sydney

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has broken his promise to reform mining laws in Papua New Guinea to secure greater benefits for indigenous communities

The Mining Industry is laughing all the way to the bank after the government’s capitulation over changes to the Mining Act that would have delivered greater benefits for landholders and Provincial governments…

No changes to mining act

Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | December 6, 2016

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill has announced that there will not be any changes to the Mining Act.

O’Neill announced this during the PNG Chamber of Mining and Petroleum Conference in Sydney on Monday.

He said any new changes will be left to the new parliament.

“I want to state categorically that there will be no changes to the Mining Act prior to the 2017 National Election.

“It is only right that the new Parliament be granted the mandate to carry forward any changes to the existing Mining legislation,” he said.

The news has been welcomes by the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum which believes stable government policies and a favorable investment climate are critical for future growth within PNG’s resource sectors.

The Chamber says stability in the fiscal, legislative and regulatory regime underwrote the robust period of growth enjoyed by PNG’s resource sectors during the period of high commodity prices from 2003 to 2012.

President Gerea Aopi said yesterday that PNG needed to main its attractiveness as an investment destination and will continue to work with the Government to achieve reforms that will grow the sector.

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PNG Opposition opposes Coal Mining proposal

coal fired power

PNG Today | 7 December 2016

The government’s proposal to venture into a coal mine in the country has met resistance from the Opposition.

“The Opposition does not blindly support a COAL mine in Papua New Guinea. Regardless of it being a lucrative business or whether we have it in abundance or not, this is not an issue.

“We do not support a COAL industry,” said Opposition Leader Don Pomb Polye when commenting on the proposal.

There are very justified reasons to verify our position are:

1. The first is PNG is a signatory to a Climate Change Initiative. PNG is a host to one of the pristine environments in the world. We host the third largest rainforest in the world. We have our eco-system so diverse in all wildlife. It is like the Garden of Eden when God created. PNG would like to stand up as a leader and signatory to the global commitment of climate change initiatives. Coal, we know, has adverse effects. It produces more carbon dioxide. It gives off more greenhouse damages and that adds onto the problem of already existing chemicals in the atmosphere. That in turn increases temperature. We do not want to see PNG doing what is contrary to what it has already agreed to sign. PNG will need to stand up as a leader in this area. We have lost some of our own islands to rise in sea level due to global warming. In order to protect our people and our country from global warming, we have to do what it right. Definitely developing a coal industry in PNG is not a right thing to do;

2. The second reason is the country has not managed its resources prudently. In other words, the O’Neill-Dion government has not managed our proceeds from the extractive industry wisely to create a sustainable income for the country’s economy. For instance, we have seen the proceeds from the PNG LNG project sent offshore to repay commercial loans borrowed from overseas. We do not see any proceeds of existing extractive projects benefitting our people. The people of the five host provinces, which have signed the Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreements, have been crying for their dues for more than four years. No benefit has gone to these people. The five provincial governments have continued to struggle to get the benefits to their provinces. The question is if we continue to allow our government to exploit more of our resources in the extractive industry like the Coal, mine, gas…etc., what is the guarantee that our people will be benefitting today whilst we experience evidently that the people of this country are not benefitting from what they own- the resources? Even the OK Tedi mine, for instance, from which the Prime Minister announced a 39 per cent equity to the landowners that has not been materialised. When will we see our people benefitting from the 39 per cent equity? There is no benefit but only sugar-coated talks. The government has also pushed for a project in New Ireland – seabed mine. We do not know the benefits. We do not also know what has happened to it. When I was a minister, I opposed this deep seabed mining because it damages the environment. The proceeds have not been prudently managed for the people.

Therefore, when the government continue to exploit more and more resources at the suffering of our people without exercising prudent economic management or giving benefits back to the people who own the resources, there is no guarantee that the new coal mine will benefit the people to build a strong economy. We must not develop projects which we already have their existence that are not benefitting our people. We need to diversify the country’s economy. We need to create a resilient and a sustainable economy. It is very important. We are yet to do that. We would like to see proceeds from the extractive industry diverted into building a very strong and big agriculture industry in PNG. We would also like to see a big manufactory factory developed from funds sourced from the extractive industry. These are the things which we should have achieved when we saw that the LNG proceeds were diverted elsewhere. We are yet to see these industries developed at least to see our people being turned away from the expectation of extractive industry to SME, tourism, agriculture or manufacturing-based economy. Without creating those industries to diversify the economy, the government deciding to develop a coal industry or any others devoid of proceeds materialised at the grassroots level, we feel that it is a waste of time and resources. It is a pure exploitation of what PNG offers as they do not earn benefits for the people who own the resources. These points must be observed by the government when bulldozing the project through.

We will fix the economic strategies and policies to create that sustainable and resilient economy to benefit our people for a long time. I want to move away from the traditional way of managing the economy. I want to move away from the extractive industry which is only temporary. I would like to create very permanent industries in agriculture, downstream processing, tourism, Information, communication and technology and building and empowering SMEs. How do we do this? I will make sure PNG Sustainable program is restored because it is a good program. The government has made a mistake to disband it. Review the Sovereign Wealth Fund as it deviated from its original version; strengthen the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), establish agriculture commodity stabilisation funds, Commercialisation of fertile lands (Sepik Plain, Markam Valley, Baiyer valley, Waghi valley, Papuan Basin, fertile lands in New Guinea Islands etc…) into huge agriculture projects. That is what we should be doing.

See also: Mayur company optimistic about coal power

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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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