Resource owners still in the dark says Chan

MOST resource owners in the country must be made aware that for so long considerable wealth has been siphoned through public equities and not from the actual sale of minerals. They are misled to believe that resource developers make millions of kina through the sale of commodities such as gold, copper, silver and nickel.

Mining Minister Byron Chan highlighted this during his first ministerial visit to the landowners and company executives of multi-million kina Lihir and Simberi mines respectively.

“Most of us have little knowledge about the way resource developers actually make money. We’ve been led to believe that their benefit comes from the sale of gold, copper, silver, nickel and carbon energy.

“But since taking office I have come to learn that significant wealth is accumulated in the public equities that are bought, sold, and traded on international stock exchanges using our resources. Company stocks soar on news of the granting of exploration and mining licenses and, to date, no party in Papua New Guinea has seen any tangible benefit,” Minister Chan said.

Chan who is also the Member for Namatanai, the richest electorate in Papua New Guinea that houses world class mines in its backyard such as Lihir, Simberi and Nautilus wants to see new changes for resource owners and the nation at large.

“So today, in the dawning of the new paradigm for mining in Papua New Guinea, my office is exploring ways to insure that the expansion of shareholder value in the global equity markets for announcements made, and rights granted by my office include benefit that flows to landowners and the nation.

“Using state-of-the art quantitative market tools, we have begun a process of learning the value of our intangible asset announcements – our granting of licenses – and we will develop world-class methods to insure that when our resource developers win, our people win alongside them.”

He also would like to see more dialogue between mining companies and industry partners to fully understand clearly the motive behind his proposed amendments to the Mining Act 1992.

The minister raised this concern after learning that both foreign and local commentators in the media misunderstood the nature of his move and what it meant for resource owners in Papua New Guinea.

“In my capacity as the Minister for Mining, it is well known that I have long stood with citizens of Papua New Guinea in calling for a more equitable participation in the benefit extracted from the land and sea of this country.

“For many years, ministers before me have been advised to favour mining operators under the veiled threat that, standing up for our rights and interests would intimidate investment in development of our country’s resources. This advice has placed our interests secondary to those of the international markets.

“However, as we see the global markets transform, with economies from the U.S to Europe to Asia undergoing considerable stress, the assets of this country are highly desired and, in this time, the maturing Papua New Guinea must now stand side by side with nations of the world, expecting and receive mutual respect, dignity for our people, and appropriate sharing in the abundance of our resource wealth.

“My office is undertaking a comprehensive review of a number of initiatives that you will hear about in the coming weeks and months. Abuse of our land, sea and people will be addressed. But even more than that, abuse of our government’s actions will be addressed,” Minister Chan said.

He reiterated that the O’Neill /Namah Government will focus on four key policy Issues that include:
  • Recognition and protection of traditional landowner’s right to mineral ownership on or under their traditional land and seabed;
  • Urgent review of the mining legal regime;
  • Deep-sea mining; and
  • Environmental Protection.

The minister noted the four policy directions would take time to be properly assessed with other existing policies and an appropriate case study will be done by the mining department and MRA and local and international advisors and consultations with all industry stakeholders to properly substantiate the proposed changes.

The policy would take at least six (6) months before the “policy changes” will be brought to Parliament for debate.

7 Comments

Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

7 responses to “Resource owners still in the dark says Chan

  1. Wesely

    From his public statements today very sadly Chan has absolutely no idea about commerce and the big picture.

  2. Wesely

    Oh yes……
    ” Abuse of our land, sea and people will be addressed. But even more than that, abuse of our government’s actions will be addressed”
    Really?
    Q. Why has it not been addressed in the last 35 years?
    A, Because its not an election year.

  3. WIllie Namrinia

    Hmmmm readers good thing Wesely straightened us out. You see everyone Commerce and the Big Picture are what its all about. Any ass kissing mining apologist would know that. Thanks Wesely. You’re a hoot dude.

    • Wesely

      Willie
      Just what is your vision for the nation?
      Do you have one or is it that you just sit back there sniping with no real place to go but to react?
      Thats the whole issue .
      Lots of cleverdicks in PNG who love the sound of their own voice but when it comes to the acid test they have NO REAL VISION.
      All they have to offer is just more pointless unproductive emotion going absolutely nowhere, save, from one disaster to another.
      So rather than saying I am an apologist for the mining industry why don’t you look beyond and offer some real vision into the debate?
      Can you do this or are you just a game player pushing an emotinal agenda with no ultimate vision?

  4. j kross

    Typical PNG pollies, avoiding the tough issue of dealing with chronic corruption and screaming at the guests, the miners.

    Chan and his lot avoid facing the long list of corrupt pollies and bureaucrats and want to take the easy way out. They think their problems will evaporate when the resource laws are changed. They wont. It’ll just be a reshuffling of players, the squandering will continue with pollies and landowners chiefs making out as usual at the peoples expense. The losers will be the peple of PNG whose minerals resources will be reallocated to a minority group under a stupid resource law.

    • Wesely

      Jkross
      Sadly, the reality is that in all jurisdictions of all nations pollies treat people like sheep.
      They invent “policy” as a vehicle for directing votes there way.
      No different anywhere although it does not favor the use of wisdom.
      I remember when Pundari came into office.
      There was a flurry of public statements, they were grandiose (but not as bad as Luther Wenge’s clap trap) and all of it reflect an intent to garner populist support.
      Then, a big fat zero.
      Pundari simply sucked up to the industry and Somare.
      He did nothing about regulatory reform, and thereafter sat back there in his office attempting to extort the odd bribe.
      It was a horror and made worse by the fact that he was clearly totally in the pocket of the Grand Chief who seemed to be oblivious to the consequence of rubber stamping Ramu.
      So we have the likes of Pundari and Chan who start these hate campaigns between the corporate players and the common people but they are really just opportunistic attempts to self promote and take advantage of the disaffected and disenfranchised which I reckon would be a very significant proportion of the population of PNG given what has happened over the last 25 years.
      The situation really does beg for some very fundamental institutional change.
      It would have been good if some PNG politicians did some jail time from time to time but that will never happen.

  5. Wesely

    “………………..“Most of us have little knowledge about the way resource developers actually make money. We’ve been led to believe that their benefit comes from the sale of gold, copper, silver, nickel and carbon energy.

    “But since taking office I have come to learn that significant wealth is accumulated in the public equities that are bought, sold, and traded on international stock exchanges using our resources. Company stocks soar on news of the granting of exploration and mining licenses and, to date, no party in Papua New Guinea has seen any tangible benefit,” Minister Chan said……….”

    Welcome to the real world Mr Chan.
    Now, if you want the people to take advantage of the commercial opporunities to advance the nations interests you must participate in the process rather than fight against it.
    Its al there in black and white in the Mining Act.
    And remember Mr Chan, companies can just as easily lose money on the stock exchange if the assets of the investing public are threatened by some risk element, such as the announcement of an inarticulate policy that might undermine the secutity of tenure in an investment in PNG.

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